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Claims for Patent: 6,488,027

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Claims for Patent: 6,488,027

Title: Powder inhaler
Abstract:This invention relates to single dose dry powder inhalers in which medicament is stored in a capsule and is released by piercing the capsule wall with polymer-coated steel pins. Methods of preparation of polymer-coated piercing means and their use in releasing the medicament from the capsule are described.
Inventor(s): Moulin; Claude (Sion, CH)
Assignee: Novartis AG (Basel, CH)
Application Number:09/657,967
Patent Claims: 1. An inhaler device comprising a steel capsule-piercing means for piercing a capsule, wherein at least a portion of said steel capsule piercing means which comes in contact with and pierces the capsule, is coated with (1) an alloy layer wherein the alloy comprises at least one metal selected from the group consisting of chromium, Group VIII metal, and the noble metal; and (2) an alloy matrix layer wherein the alloy matrix comprises (i) inert polymer particles, and (ii) an alloy comprising at least one metal selected from the group consisting of chromium, Group VIII metal, and noble metal.

2. The inhaler device according to claim 1 wherein the metal is selected from the group consisting of iron, cobalt, nickel, ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, and combinations thereof.

3. The inhaler device according to claim 2 wherein the metal is nickel.

4. The inhaler device according to claim 1 wherein the alloy matrix additionally comprises phosphorus.

5. The inhaler device according to claim 4, wherein the alloy comprises nickel and phosphorus.

6. The inhaler device according to claim 5 wherein the alloy comprises 90 to 93 weight percent nickel and 7 to 10 weight percent phosphorous, based on the total weight of the alloy.

7. The inhaler device according to claim 1 wherein the polymer is a fluorocarbon polymer.

8. The inhaler device according to claim 7 wherein the polymer is polytetrafluoroethylene.

9. The inhaler device according to claim 1 wherein the steel capsule piercing means is coated with (1) an alloy layer comprising nickel and phosphorous, and (2) an alloy matrix layer comprising nickel, phosphorous, and particles of polytetrafloroethylene.

10. The inhaler device according to claim 1 wherein the alloy layer has a thickness of from about 5 to about 15 microns and the alloy matrix layer has a thickness of 3 to 10 microns.

11. The inhaler device according to claim 1 wherein the alloy matrix layer contains 20 to 30% by volume polytetrafluoroethylene.
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