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Claims for Patent: 7,246,615

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Claims for Patent: 7,246,615

Title:Atomising nozzle and filter and spray generating device
Abstract: A nozzle assembly for use in atomizing and generating sprays from a fluid. The nozzle assembly includes two members, each with generally planar surfaces, that are joined together. A first set of channels is formed in the generally planar surface of a first one of the members to form, in cooperation with the generally planar surface of the second of the members, a plurality of filter passageways. A plenum chamber is formed in the first member. The plenum chamber is in fluid communication with and downstream of the plurality of filter passageways. A second set of channels is formed in the generally planar surface of the first member to form, in cooperation with the generally planar surface of the second member, a plurality of nozzle outlet passageways. These nozzle outlet passageways are in fluid communication with the plenum chamber. The nozzle outlet passageways include a plurality of nozzle outlets which are adapted to discharge a plurality of fluid jets that impinge on one another to thereby atomize a flow of fluid.
Inventor(s): Bartels; Frank (Hattingen, DE), Bachtler; Wulf (Mainz, DE), Dunne; Stephen T (Suffolk, GB), Eicher; Joachim (Dortmund, DE), Freund; Bernhard (Gau-Algesheim, DE), Hart; William B (Ipswich, GB), Lessmoellmann; Christoph (Gernsbach, DE)
Assignee: Boehringer International GmbH (Rhein, DE)
Application Number:10/291,624
Patent Claims: 1. A spray generating device comprising: (a) a reservoir configured to hold a medicament; (b) a pump, having a piston, a spring and a cylinder, wherein the piston has a retracted position and a deployed position; (c) a pressure chamber, wherein a metered dose of the medicament is drawn from the reservoir into the pressure chamber by movement of the piston to the retracted position and held at ambient pressure in the pressure chamber until discharged, such that when discharge is required, the piston moves from the retracted position to the deployed position by virtue of the spring driving the piston forward and applying a rapid pressure rise to the metered dose of medicament to thereby cause the medicament to discharge from the spray generating device; and (d) a nozzle assembly, wherein the nozzle assembly atomizes the discharge fluid to form a spray having droplets suitable for inhalation, said nozzle assembly comprising: (i) a first member having a first surface, the first surface having a plurality of grooves formed therein; (ii) a second member having a second surface, requiring the first and the second surfaces to be joined together to form a plurality of passageways; and (iii) a plurality of nozzle outlets disposed at one end of the plurality of passageways, wherein the plurality of nozzle outlets are configured to discharge a plurality of fluid jets, so that the jets impinge on one another to thereby atomize the flow of fluid.

2. The spray generating device of claim 1, further comprising a filter disposed at one end of the plurality of passageways of the nozzle assembly.

3. The spray generating device of claim 1, wherein the plurality of passageways of the nozzle assembly are substantially rectangular in cross-section.

4. The spray generating device of claim 1, wherein the plurality of jets impinge at an angle of approximately 60 degrees to approximately 150 degrees.

5. The spray generating device of claim 1, wherein the plurality of jets impinge at an angle of approximately 90 degrees to approximately 120 degrees.

6. The spray generating device of claim 1, wherein the plurality of jets impinge at an angle of approximately 90 degrees.

7. The spray generating device of claim 1, further comprising a plenum chamber formed in the first member, wherein the plenum chamber is in fluid communication with the plurality of passageways.

8. The spray generating device of claim 1, wherein the plurality of passageways are substantially parallel to each other.

9. The spray generating device of claim 1, wherein the nozzle assembly further comprises a fluid inlet.

10. The spray generating device of claim 9, wherein the fluid inlet is disposed substantially at a right angle to the first member.

11. The spray generating device of claim 10, further comprising a fluid inlet chamber into which medicament is received from the fluid inlet, wherein the fluid inlet chamber is in fluid communication with the plurality of passageways.

12. The spray generating device of claim 1, wherein the plurality of passageways are configured to receive a flow of medicament supplied at a pressure of at least 50 bar.

13. The spray generating device of claim 1, wherein the plurality of passageways are configured to receive a flow of medicament supplied at a pressure of approximately 50 bar to approximately 400 bar.

14. The spray generating device of claim 1, wherein the plurality of passageways are configured to impose a pressure drop of approximately 0.2 bar to approximately 25 bar to the flow of medicament.

15. The spray generating device of claim 1, wherein the plurality of nozzle outlets have a total cross-sectional area of approximately 25 to approximately 500 square micrometers.

16. The spray generating device of claim 1, wherein the plurality of nozzle outlets have a total cross-sectional area of approximately 30 to approximately 200 square micrometers.

17. The spray generating device of claim 1, wherein the first member comprises silicon.

18. The spray generating device of claim 17, wherein the first member further comprises glass.

19. The spray generating device of claim 1, wherein the second member comprises silicon.

20. The spray generating device of claim 19, wherein the second member further comprises glass.
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