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Claims for Patent: 7,516,741

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Claims for Patent: 7,516,741

Title:Aerosolization apparatus with feedback mechanism
Abstract: An aerosolization apparatus comprises a housing defining a chamber having an air inlet and an air outlet, wherein the chamber is sized to receive a capsule containing a pharmaceutical formulation. A puncturing member is moveable within the chamber to contact the capsule and to provide an opening in the capsule, and a feedback mechanism provides an indication, such as a tactile indication, to a user when the puncturing member has been moved to a position where it provides the opening into the capsule. When air flows through the inlet, the pharmaceutical formulation is aerosolized and the aerosolized pharmaceutical formulation is delivered through the outlet.
Inventor(s): Glusker; Mark J. (San Mateo, CA), Wood; Jeff R. (Mountain View, CA), Burr; John D. (Redwood City, CA)
Assignee: Novartis AG (
Application Number:10/704,160
Patent Claims: 1. An aerosolization apparatus comprising: a housing defining a chamber having an air inlet and an air outlet, wherein the chamber is sized to receive a capsule containing a pharmaceutical formulation; a puncturing member moveable within the chamber to contact the capsule and to provide an opening in the capsule; and a feedback mechanism that provides a tactile indication to a user only when the puncturing member has been moved to a position where it provides the opening into the capsule, wherein the puncture member may be advanced beyond the position where it provides the opening into the capsule, whereby when air flows through the inlet, the pharmaceutical formulation is aerosolized and the aerosolized pharmaceutical formulation is delivered through the outlet.

2. An apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the puncture member comprises a sharpened tip for penetrating a wall of the capsule.

3. An apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the puncture member comprises a pair of sharpened tips for penetrating a wall of the capsule.

4. An apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the puncture member is positioned to pierce only one end of the capsule.

5. An apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the feedback mechanism comprises a protrusion that is engageable by a flange to provide the tactile indication.

6. An apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the feedback mechanism comprises a portion of the housing that is engageable by the user only when the puncture member has moved to the position where it provides the opening into the capsule.

7. An apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the chamber is elongated and has a longitudinal axis, and wherein the longitudinal axis of the chamber and the longitudinal axis of the capsule form an angle of less than about 45 degrees during use.

8. An apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the chamber is elongated and wherein the capsule is received lengthwise within the elongated chamber.

9. An aerosolization apparatus according to claim 1 wherein the width of the chamber is less than the length of the capsule.

10. An aerosolization apparatus comprising: a body defining a chamber having an air inlet and an air outlet, wherein the chamber is sized to receive a capsule containing a pharmaceutical formulation in a manner which allows the capsule to move within the chamber; a puncturing member moveable within the chamber to contact the capsule and to provide an opening in the capsule; and a feedback mechanism that provides a tactile indication to a user only when the puncturing member has been moved to a predetermined position, wherein the puncturing member is movable beyond the predetermined position, whereby when a user inhales, air enters into the chamber through the inlet so that the pharmaceutical formulation is aerosolized within the chamber and the aerosolized pharmaceutical formulation is delivered to the user through the outlet.

11. An apparatus according to claim 10 wherein the feedback mechanism provides the indication when the puncture member has been moved from a rest position to a capsule piercing position.

12. An apparatus according to claim 11 wherein the puncture member may be advanced beyond the capsule piercing position.

13. An apparatus according to claim 10 wherein the puncture member comprises a sharpened tip for penetrating a wall of the capsule.

14. An apparatus according to claim 10 wherein the puncture member comprises a pair of sharpened tips for penetrating a wall of the capsule.

15. An apparatus according to claim 10 wherein the puncture member is positioned to pierce only one end of the capsule.

16. An apparatus according to claim 10 wherein the feedback mechanism comprises a protrusion that is engageable by a flange to provide the tactile indication.

17. An apparatus according to claim 10 wherein the feedback mechanism comprises a portion of the housing that is engageable by the user only when the puncture member has moved to the predetermined position.

18. An apparatus according to claim 10 wherein the chamber is elongated and has a longitudinal axis, and wherein the longitudinal axis of the chamber and the longitudinal axis of the capsule form an angle of less than about 45 degrees during use.

19. An apparatus according to claim 10 wherein the chamber is elongated and wherein the capsule is received lengthwise within the elongated chamber.

20. An aerosolization apparatus according to claim 10 wherein the width of the chamber is less than the length of the capsule.

21. A method of providing an aerosolized pharmaceutical formulation, the method comprising: providing an aerosolization apparatus comprising a housing which defines a chamber, the chamber being sized to receive a capsule containing a pharmaceutical formulation, the aerosolization apparatus further comprising a feedback mechanism that provides a tactile indication to a user only when the capsule has been punctured thereby allowing a user to stop the puncturing process by removing the application of force; and aerosolizing the pharmaceutical formulation when a user inhales by causing air to flow through an inlet in the housing, within the chamber, and through an outlet in the housing to provide the aerosolized pharmaceutical formulation to the user.

22. A method according to claim 21 wherein the housing comprises a body and an endpiece, the body and endpiece being connectable.

23. A method of aerosolizing a pharmaceutical formulation, the method comprising: providing a capsule containing a pharmaceutical formulation in a chamber in a housing; advancing a puncture member to create an opening in the capsule; receiving a tactile indication from a feedback mechanism only when the opening in the capsule is created; stopping the advancement by removing the application of force in response to receiving the indication; and inhaling through an opening in the housing to cause air to flow into the chamber through an inlet in the housing thereby aerosolizing the pharmaceutical formulation.

24. A method according to claim 23 wherein the chamber is elongated and wherein the capsule is inserted lengthwise into the elongated chamber.
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