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Claims for Patent: 7,802,568

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Claims for Patent: 7,802,568

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 pharmaceutically 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 (Ingelheim am Rhein, DE)
Application Number:11/232,896
Patent Claims: 1. A releasable connection between a cartridge and a connection portion of a dispensing device, the cartridge being interchangeable and including a stiff outer casing or a shape stable container or a stopper, the releasable connection comprising: a connection portion disposed on an upper portion of the dispensing device and including a draw-off connection portion for drawing off a liquid contained in the cartridge; and a plurality of discrete snap hooks provided on the connection portion, wherein the connection portion is releasably secured to the cartridge by the snap hooks which individually engage into a peripherally extending groove in the stiff outer casing or the shape stable container or the stopper, after the casing or the container or the stopper has been pushed into the dispensing device, wherein the connection portion is configured to be reused with a second cartridge, wherein the connection portion is releasably secured to the second, cartridge by the snap hooks after the connection portion is released from engagement with the first cartridge, wherein the connection portion includes a plurality of vertical extensions, wherein each snap hook is provided on one of the plurality of vertical extensions, and wherein the draw-off connection portion vertically extends between the plurality of vertical extensions so as to be substantially surrounded by the plurality of snap hooks, and wherein the connection portion is a single-piece of material including the plurality of vertical extensions and the draw-off connection portion.

2. The releasable connection according to claim 1, wherein the snap hooks are made of plastic material and have a spring property.

3. The releasable connection according to claim 1, wherein a foil on a top-side of the cartridge is pierced by the draw-off connection portion when the casing or the container or the stopper is pushed into the dispensing device.

4. The releasable connection according to claim 1, wherein the draw-off connection portion penetrates into an insertion connection portion of the cartridge.

5. The releasable connection according to claim 4, wherein a diaphragm at an end of the insertion connection portion is pierced by the draw-off connection portion.

6. The releasable connection according to claim 4, wherein a collapsible bag is disposed in the cartridge and contains the liquid, wherein the insertion connection portion extends into an interior space of the collapsible bag, the liquid being drawn through the draw-off connection portion penetrating the insertion connection portion.

7. A releasable connection between a cartridge and a connection portion of a dispensing device, the cartridge including a stiff outer casing or a shape stable container or a stopper, the releasable connection releasably securing the cartridge to the connection portion, the releasable connection consisting essentially of: a connection portion disposed on an upper portion of the dispensing device and including a draw-off connection portion for drawing off a liquid contained in the cartridge; a plurality of vertical extensions provided on the connection portion and extending vertically downward from the connection portion; and a plurality of discrete snap hooks, wherein each snap hook is provided on one of the plurality of vertical extensions, wherein the connection portion is releasably secured to the cartridge by the snap hooks which individually engage into a peripherally extending groove in the stiff outer casing or the shape stable container or the stopper, after the casing or the container or the stopper has been pushed into the dispensing device, wherein the draw-off connection portion extends vertically downward between the plurality of vertical extensions so as to be substantially surrounded by the plurality of snap hooks, wherein the connection portion is a single-piece of material including the plurality of vertical extensions and the draw-off connection portion.

8. The releasable connection according to claim 7, wherein the cartridge is interchangeably connected to the connection portion, wherein the connection portion is releasably secured to a second cartridge by the snap hooks after the connection portion is released from engagement with the first cartridge.
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