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Claims for Patent: 6,988,496

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Claims for Patent: 6,988,496

Title:Cartridge for a liquid
Abstract: For meteredly dispensing a liquid over a period of several months from a container which can be stored over a long period of time, the need is for a container which is practically diffusion-tight and in which the liquid does not come into contact with the ambient atmosphere. The cartridge according to the invention is a three-shell container comprising a collapsible bag which contains the liquid, a container which is stable in respect of shape and a stiff metal casing. The cartridge can be releasably connected to a dispensing device. The cartridge can be provided with a micro-opening with which the time for pressure equalisation between the cartridge and the ambient atmosphere can be adjusted. The cartridge is suitable for aqueous and for alcoholic liquids which contain a pharmacologically active substance. The liquid in the cartridge is protected from external influences. The cartridge can be used in an atomiser for producing an inhalable aerosol for the treatment of illnesses.
Inventor(s): Eicher; Joachim (Dortmund, DE), Geser; Johannes (Dortmund, DE), Hausmann; Matthias (Dortmund, DE), Schyra; Michael (Wuppertal, DE), Wuttke; Gilbert (Dortmund, DE), Fiol; Andreas (Wuppertal, DE), Kladders; Heinrich (Muelheim, DE), Hochrainer; Dieter (Bingen am Rhein, DE), Zierenberg; Bernd (Bingen am Rhein, DE)
Assignee: Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH (DE)
Application Number:09/511,267
Patent Claims: 1. A cartridge for a liquid, which can be connected to a dispensing device, the dispensing device including an upper portion for receiving the cartridge and a lower portion which can be pushed over the cartridge when connected to the dispensing device, the upper portion of the dispensing device being provided with a connection portion for the cartridge and with a dispensing connection portion for drawing off the liquid, the cartridge comprising: a stiff outer casing including a top portion and a bottom portion, the top portion of the outer casing being coupled to the upper portion of the dispensing device; a container which is stable with respect to shape and which is disposed in the casing; and a collapsible bag disposed in the container and containing the liquid, wherein the bottom portion of the stiff outer casing is provided with an opening, and wherein the container includes an opening and a stopper, the stopper including an insertion connection portion which forms a sealingly closing, centered guide means for the dispensing connection portion, and wherein the stopper is connected by the outer casing to the container, and wherein the cartridge is connected to the connection portion on the upper portion of the dispensing device.

2. A cartridge according to claim 1, wherein the cartridge is releasably connected to the connection portion by means of a plug connection.

3. A cartridge according to claim 1, wherein the cartridge is releasably connected to the connection portion by means of a screw connection or a bayonet connection.

4. A cartridge according to claim 1, wherein the stopper is connected to the container by means of a snap connection.

5. A cartridge according to claim 1, wherein the stopper comprising a thermoplastic material is non-releasably connected to the container which also comprises a thermoplastic material by means of a welded joint with merging of the materials.

6. A cartridge according to claim 1, further comprising a fennel-shaped centered guide means including guide ribs disposed within the insertion connection portion of the stopper.

7. A cartridge according to claim 1, wherein the sealingly closing guide means for the dispensing connection portion comprises a press fit provided on the stopper.

8. A cartridge according to claim 1, wherein the stopper is provided at an end of the insertion connection portion with a diaphragm disposed inclinedly with respect to an axis of the insertion connection portion.

9. A cartridge according to claim 1, wherein a sealing disc provided with sealing beads is disposed between an upper edge of the container and an inside of the stopper.

10. A cartridge according to claim 1, wherein an inside of the stopper is provided with a sealing lip.

11. A cartridge according to claim 1, wherein the stiff outer casing is diffusion tight, except for the opening thereof.

12. A cartridge according to claim 1, wherein the stiff outer casing is provided with a plurality of inwardly projecting projections.

13. A cartridge according to claim 1, wherein the stiff outer casing is a unitary piece.

14. A cartridge according to claim 1, wherein the stiff outer casing comprises two pieces.

15. A cartridge according to claim 1, wherein the stiff outer casing is a deep-drawn metal casing.

16. A cartridge according to claim 15, wherein the stiff outer casing is provided with at least one peripherally extending crease which embraces the stopper.

17. A cartridge according to claim 15, wherein the stiff outer casing is made of aluminum.

18. A cartridge according to claim 1, wherein the stiff outer casing comprises a plastic material.

19. A cartridge according to claim 18, wherein the stiff outer casing is a thermoplastic material.

20. A cartridge according to claim 19, wherein the stiff outer casing is connected to the stopper by means of a welded joint with merging of materials.

21. A cartridge according to claim 1, wherein a projecting bead is provided at the bottom of the stiff outer casing.

22. A cartridge according to claim 21, wherein the cartridge can be pulled out of the dispensing device by means of a withdrawal aid which can be pushed under the projecting bead.

23. A cartridge according to claim 1, wherein the bottom of the stiff outer casing includes a recess.

24. A cartridge according to claim 23, wherein the stiff outer casing is provided within the recess with an opening with a diameter of between 0.1 millimeter and 5 millimeters.

25. A cartridge according to claim 23, wherein the stiff outer casing is provided within the recess with an insert including a micro-opening which communicates with the opening in the bottom of the stiff outer casing, and wherein if the micro-opening is circular in cross-section, a diameter of the circular cross-section is between 10 .mu.m and 500 .mu.m and is of a length of between 100 .mu.m and 5000 .mu.m.

26. A cartridge according to claim 25, wherein the insert is provided with a filter adjacent the micro-opening.

27. A cartridge according to claim 1, wherein an upper part of the stiff outer casing is provided with a peripherally extending groove which embraces the lower edge of the stopper.

28. A cartridge according to claim 27, wherein the connection portion on the upper portion of the dispensing device is provided with snap hooks which engage into the peripherally extending groove in the upper part of the stiff outer casing after the cartridge has been pushed into the dispensing device.

29. A cartridge according to claim 1, wherein an upper part of the stiff outer casing is provided with a flanged-over portion which embraces the upper edge of the stopper.

30. A cartridge according to claim 1, wherein the cartridge is seated in adjacent the stopper by a diffusion-tight-sealing foil.

31. A cartridge according to claim 1, wherein an outside of the bottom of the stiff outer casing is sealed by a diffusion-tight sealing foil.

32. A cartridge according to claim 31, wherein provided in a central region of the sealing foil on the outside of the bottom of the stiff casing is a free space which is covered by the sealing foil.

33. A cartridge according to claim 31, wherein an inside of the bottom of the lower portion of the dispensing device is provided with a piercing device for the sealing foil which is disposed on the outside of the bottom of the stiff outer casing.

34. A cartridge according to claim 1, for an alcoholic or aqueous liquid, wherein the container and the stopper comprise polypropylene, further comprising a collapsible bag of polyethylene disposed in the container, wherein: the stiff outer casing comprises a metal, preferably aluminum, or a plastic material, preferably polypropylene; an end of the insertion connection portion is closed by a diaphragm inclined with respect to an axis of the insertion connection portion and the sealingly closing, centered guide means is a press fit and is connected by a snap connection to the container; the cartridge is releasably connected to the connection portion by means of a releasable plug connection, the releasable plug connection being a snap connection in which there are provided in the connection portion of the upper portion of the dispensing device snap hooks which engage into a peripherally extending groove in an upper region of the cartridge; the opening at the bottom of the stiff outer casing is a bore or the bottom of the outer casing includes an inset with a micro-opening which communicates with a bore in the outer casing; and an inside of the bottom of the lower portion of the dispensing device is provided with a resilient piercing device for a sealing foil on an underside of the bottom of the casing.

35. A cartridge according to claim 34, wherein the liquid contains a pharmacologically active substance.

36. A cartridge according to claim 34 for a medical liquid wherein the medical liquid contains one or more of the active substances Berotec (Fenoterol hydrobromide); 1-(3,5-dihydroxy-phenyl)-2-[[1-(4-hydroxy-benzyl)-ethyl]-amino]-ethanol hydrobromide), Atrovent (Ipratropium bromide), Berodual (combination of Fenoterol hydrobromide and Ipratropium bromide), Salbutamol, Salbutomal sulphate Combivent, Oxivent (Oxitropium bromide), Ba 679 (Tiotropium bromide), BEA 2108 (di-(2-thienyl)-glycolic acid tropenol ester), Flunisolid, Budesonid and Beclomethasone.

37. Use of the cartridge according to claim 34, containing a medical liquid for producing an aerosol by means of an atomiser.

38. Use of the cartridge according to claim 34, containing a medical liquid for producing an inhalable aerosol for treatment of illnesses.

39. A cartridge according to claim 34, wherein a sealing disc provided with sealing beads is disposed between an upper edge of the container and an inside of the stopper.

40. A cartridge according to claim 34, wherein an outside of the bottom of the stiff outer casing is sealed by a diffusion-tight scaling foil.

41. A cartridge according to claim 1, for an alcoholic or aqueous liquid, wherein the container and the stopper comprise polypropylene, further comprising a collapsible bag of polyethylene disposed in the container, wherein: the stiff outer casing comprises a metal, preferably aluminum; an end of the stopper is closed by a diagram which is inclined to an axis of the insertion connection portion; the sealingly, closing guide means is in the form of a press fit; the connection between the cartridge and the connection portion of the dispensing device is a releasable connection in the form of a snap connection in which there are hooks provided in the connection portion of the upper portion of the dispensing device snap hooks which engage into a peripherally extending groove in an upper region of the cartridge; an inside of the bottom of the lower portion of the dispensing device is provided with a resilient piercing device for a sealing foil on an underside of the bottom of the casing.

42. A cartridge according to claim 41, wherein the liquid contains a pharmacologically active substance.

43. A cartridge according to claim 41, for a medical liquid wherein the medical liquid contains one or more of the active substances Berotec (Fenoterol hydrobromide); 1-(3,5-dihydroxy-phenyl)-2-[[1-(4-hydroxy-benzyl)-ethyl]-amino]-ethanol hydrobromide), Atrovent (Ipratropium bromide), Berodual (combination of Fenoterol hydrobromide and Ipratropium bromide), Salbutamol, Salbutomal sulphate Combivent, Oxivent (Oxitropium bromide), Ba 679 (Tiotropium bromide), BEA 2108 (di-(2-thienyl)-glycolic acid tropenol ester), Flunisolid, Budesonid and Beclomethasone.

44. Use of the cartridge according to claim 41, containing a medical liquid for producing an aerosol by means of an atomiser.

45. Use of the cartridge according to claim 41, containing a medical liquid for producing an inhalable aerosol for treatment of illnesses.

46. A cartridge according to claim 41, wherein the stopper is non-releasably connected by the outer casing to the container.

47. A cartridge according to claim 1, wherein the liquid contains a pharmacologically active substance.

48. A cartridge according to claim 1, for a medical liquid wherein the medical liquid contains one or more of the active substances Berotec (Fenoterol hydrobromide); 1-(3,5-dihydroxy-phenyl)-2-[[1-(4-hydroxy-benzyl)-ethyl]-amino]-ethanol hydrobromide), Atrovent (Ipratropium bromide), Berodual (combination of Fenoterol hydrobromide and Ipratropium bromide), Salbutamol, Salbutomal sulphate Combivent, Oxivent (Oxitropium bromide), Ba 679 (Tiotropium bromide), BEA 2108 (di-(2-thienyl)-glycolic acid tropenol ester), Flunisolid, Budesonid and Beclomethasone.

49. Use of the cartridge according to claim 1, containing a medical liquid for producing an aerosol by means of an atomiser.

50. Use of the cartridge according to claim 1, containing a medical liquid for producing an inhalable aerosol for treatment of illnesses.

51. A cartridge according to claim 1, wherein the cartridge is releasably connected to the connection portion.

52. A cartridge according to claim 1, wherein the stopper is non-releasably connected by the outer casing to the container.
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