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Claims for Patent: 6,546,929

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Claims for Patent: 6,546,929

Title: Dry powder dispersing apparatus and methods for their use
Abstract:The invention provides various apparatus and methods for aerosolizing a powdered medicament. In one exemplary embodiment, an apparatus includes a pressurization cylinder, and a piston which is slidable within the cylinder to pressurize a gas. A handle is coupled to the piston and is movable between an extended position and a home position to pressurize the gas. An aerosolizing mechanism is included and is configured to aerosolize a powdered medicament that is held within a receptacle with pressurized gas from the cylinder. A carriage assembly is included to receive the receptacle and to couple the receptacle to the aerosolizing mechanism. A first and a second interlock are operably engageable with the carriage assembly to prevent coupling of the receptacle with the aerosolization mechanism. The first interlock is released to allow movement of the carriage upon movement of the handle to the extended position. The second interlock remains engaged if the receptacle is only partially inserted into the carriage assembly.
Inventor(s): Burr; John D. (Redwood City, CA), Smith; Adrian E. (Belmont, CA), Hall; Randy K. (Mountain View, CA), Snyder; Herman (Belmont, CA), Schuler; Carlos (Cupertino, CA), Axford; George S. (San Mateo, CA), Ray; Charles (Foster City, CA)
Assignee: Inhale Therapeutic Systems, Inc. (San Carlos, CA)
Application Number:09/873,946
Patent Claims: 1. An apparatus for aerosolizing a powdered medicament, the apparatus comprising: a pressurization cylinder, a piston slidable within the cylinder to pressurize a gas within the cylinder; a handle coupled to the cylinder, the handle being movable between an extended position and a home position to pressurize the gas within the cylinder; a carriage assembly adapted to receive a receptacle which holds a powdered medicament, the carriage assembly also being adapted to couple the receptacle to an aerosolizing mechanism; and an interlock which is operably engageable with the carriage assembly to prevent coupling of the receptacle with the aerosolizing mechanism, wherein the interlock is released to allow movement of the carriage upon movement of the handle to the extended position.

2. An apparatus as in claim 1, further comprising a catch which engages the carriage assembly when moved to couple the receptacle to the aerosolizing mechanism, and a release button to release the catch from the carriage assembly.

3. An apparatus as in claim 1, further comprising a valve disposed in an airway between the cylinder and the aerosolizing mechanism, wherein the valve has an open position and a closed position, and wherein the valve is generally in the closed position during extension of the handle to the extended position.

4. A method for aerosolizing a powdered medicament that is held within a receptacle, the method comprising: receiving the receptacle in a carriage assembly; releasing an interlock from the carriage assembly when a handle is extended a predetermined amount; producing a charge of pressurized gas when the handle is retracted; and aerosolizing the powdered medicament with the pressurized gas when a button is operated.

5. An apparatus for aerosolizing a powdered medicament, the apparatus comprising: a housing; a pressurization cylinder; a piston slidable within the cylinder, wherein the piston is pivotally attached to the housing; and a handle operative to cause relative movement between the cylinder and the piston to pressurize a gas within the cylinder; whereby the pressurized gas may be used to aerosolize a powder medicament.

6. An apparatus as in claim 5, further comprising a linkage disposed between the handle and the cylinder, wherein the linkage is pivotally attached to the housing and the cylinder.

7. An apparatus as in claim 5, wherein the housing has a top end and a bottom end, wherein an aerosolizing mechanism is disposed near the top end, and wherein the piston is pivotally attached to the housing at the bottom end.

8. An apparatus as in claim 5, further comprising a one-way check valve disposed in the piston.

9. An apparatus as in claim 5, further comprising a valve disposed in an airway between the piston and an aerosolizing mechanism, wherein the valve has an open position and a closed position, and wherein the valve is in the closed position during extension of the handle to an extended position.

10. A system for aerosolizing a powdered medicament, the system comprising: a carriage having an opening to receive a receptacle having a powdered medicament; an aerosolizing mechanism to aerosolize the medicament in the receptacle upon delivery of the receptacle to the aerosolizing mechanism by the carriage; and an interlock which is movable to engage the carriage to prevent movement of the carriage toward the aerosolizing mechanism, wherein the interlock engages the carriage when the receptacle is not properly inserted into the carriage.

11. A system as in claim 10, wherein the carriage includes a key such that the receptacle is properly inserted into the carriage only if a portion of the receptacle is aligned with the key.

12. A system as in claim 10, further comprising a sensor arm having a roller, wherein the interlock includes a latch, and wherein the roller rolls over a portion of the receptacle during insertion of the receptacle into the carriage to move the sensor arm against the interlock to cause the latch to engage the carriage until the roller rolls a desired amount.

13. A system as in claim 12, wherein the sensor arm defines a well that aligns the portion of the receptacle with the aerosolizing mechanism.

14. A device for aerosolizing a powdered medicament, the device comprising: a capture chamber; an aerosolizing mechanism positioned to introduce a powdered medicament into the capture chamber, wherein the aerosolizing mechanism includes air channels to allow air to enter into the capture chamber when a patient inhales to extract the powdered medicament from the capture chamber, and wherein the aerosolizing mechanism further includes a structure to distribute air entering into the capture chamber through the air channels such that the powdered medicament is removed from the capture chamber as a bolus that is substantially unmixed with the entering air.

15. A device as in claim 14, wherein the capture chamber has a center, wherein the aerosolizing mechanism is offset from the center, and wherein the structure is fashioned to distribute more air to regions of the capture chamber which are on an opposite side of the center.

16. A device as in claim 14, wherein the structure is further configured to distribute the air into the chamber such that the bolus is extracted before substantially any of the entering air is extracted from die capture chamber.

17. A device as in claim 14, wherein the structure comprises a curved flange member.

18. A device as in claim 14, wherein the aerosolizing mechanism defines a cylindrical passage through which the powdered medicament passes to reach the capture chamber.

19. A device as in claim 14, further comprising a flexible seal to provide a seal for the capture chamber.

20. A method for supplying a powdered medicament to a patient, the method comprising: dispersing a powdered medicament within a capture chamber; delivering the powdered medicament to the patient from the capture chamber during inhalation by the patient; and allowing air to enter the capture chamber in a manner such that the powdered medicament is extracted from the chamber followed by the entering air, the flow of the entering air being regulated.

21. A method for supplying a powdered medicament to a patient, the method comprising: dispersing a powdered medicament within a capture chamber; delivering the powdered medicament to the patient from the capture chamber during inhalation by the patient; and allowing air to enter the capture chamber and diverting the entering air into channels with an air flow divided as the powdered medicament is extracted from the capture chamber.
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