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Claims for Patent: 8,343,130

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Claims for Patent: 8,343,130

Title:Needleless injector
Abstract: A needleless injector has a syringe body having an opening at one end, a piston housed within the syringe body for urging a liquid within the syringe body through the opening and a ram for driving the piston. A shock absorbing component is provided for reducing an initial transfer of force from the ram to the piston. The initial rate of pressure increase on the liquid is reduced, thereby controlling the rate of collapse of gas bubbles in the liquid.
Inventor(s): Green; Terry (Norfolk, GB)
Assignee: Zogenix, Inc. (Emeryville, CA)
Application Number:13/088,140
Patent Claims: 1. A method of delivering liquid from a needleless injector syringe which comprises a piston housed within a syringe body and a ram for driving the piston thereby causing liquid to be driven out of the syringe, the method comprising: applying an initial force to the ram to initiate delivery of the liquid and collapse of a bubble in the liquid; during a first stage of the delivery, applying a reduced force to the piston thereby causing the bubble to collapse in a slow, controlled manner; and during a subsequent stage of the delivery, transferring substantially the full energy of the ram to the piston.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein when the reduced force is applied during the first stage by movement of the ram towards the piston causing compression of a closed volume of gas.

3. A method of preventing a collapsing bubble in a liquid formulation from causing a needle free injector capsule to break, comprising the step of causing the bubble to collapse in a slower, controlled manner immediately prior to the normal injection cycle.

4. The method of claim 3, wherein the step of causing the bubble to collapse in a slower, controlled manner comprises placing an additional component between the ram and the piston which causes an initial transfer of force from the ram to the piston which force is substantially smaller than the subsequent impact force between the ram and the piston.

5. The method of claim 4, wherein the initial transfer of force is caused by friction between the ram and the component which causes a force to be applied to the piston.

6. The method of claim 5, wherein the component is connected to an element chosen from the ram and the piston.

7. The method of claim 5, wherein the force applied to the piston causes the piston to move forward.

8. The method of claim 7, wherein the piston moving forward causes formulation pressure to increase to from 1 to 6 Mpa.

9. The method of claim 6, wherein the component comprises a cylinder, in which an end of the ram is slidably received.

10. The method of claim 9, wherein the cylinder forms part of the piston.

11. The method of claim 9, wherein the cylinder is closed at one end, the closed end lying adjacent the piston.

12. The method of claim 9, wherein the cylinder is open at both ends.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein the internal opening of the cylinder has a constant internal diameter.

14. The method of claim 13, wherein the bubble present within the liquid collapses to about 1/20 or less of an original size.

15. The method of claim 14, wherein the increase in pressure occurs within 200 .mu.s.

16. A method of delivering liquid from a needleless injector syringe which comprises a piston housed within a syringe body and a ram for driving the piston thereby causing liquid to be driven out of the syringe, the method comprising: during a first stage of the delivery, applying a reduced force to the piston, thereby moving the piston forward slightly; and during a subsequent stage of the delivery, transferring substantially the full energy of the ram to the piston.

17. A method of reducing the propensity for a shock wave created from the rapid collapse of a gas bubble to break an injector syringe which comprises a piston housed within a syringe body and a ram for driving the piston thereby causing liquid to be driven out of the syringe, the method comprising: applying an initial force to the ram, during a first stage of the delivery, applying a reduced force to the piston thereby causing the bubble to collapse in a slow, controlled manner; and during a subsequent stage of the delivery, transferring substantially the full energy of the ram to the piston.

18. A method of delivering a liquid formulation from a needle-free injector syringe, comprising a piston housed within a syringe body, a ram for driving the piston and a container for holding the liquid formulation, the method comprising: applying a force profile to the ram, which force profile comprises a first stage followed by a second stage, wherein; during the first stage of the force profile at least a portion of force applied to the ram is absorbed whereby a reduced force is applied to the piston; and during the second stage of the force profile substantially greater force as compared to the reduced force, is applied from the ram to the piston.

19. The method as claimed in claim 18, wherein a component is positioned between the ram and the piston.

20. The method as claimed in claim 19, wherein the component is a cylinder.

21. The method as claimed in claim 20, wherein cylinder comprised an internal opening that comprises three internal diameters, a third internal diameter at an end of the cylinder for cooperation with the piston, the third internal diameter being greater than the second internal diameter.

22. The method as claimed in claim 21, wherein the third internal diameter is equal to or greater than the diameter of the ram.

23. The method as claimed in claim 20, wherein the cylinder has a length of between 1 mm and 5 mm.

24. The method as claimed in claim 20, wherein the ram is slidably received in the cylinder with a fluid tight fit.

25. The method as claimed in claim 19, wherein the component is a shock absorbing means.

26. The method of claim 25, wherein the shock absorbing means comprises a compressible member.

27. The method of claim 17, wherein the force profile is provided by a source of pressurized fluid.
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