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Claims for Patent: 8,733,341

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Claims for Patent: 8,733,341

Title:Atomizer and method of atomizing fluid with a nozzle rinsing mechanism
Abstract: An atomizer and a method of dispensing and atomizing fluid into individual containers through a nozzle are proposed, where in order to improve the dosing accuracy, a preliminary amount of fluid, flushing the nozzle, is dispensed before each dose is dispensed.
Inventor(s): Boeck; Georg (Laupheim, DE), Spallek; Michael (Ingelheim, DE)
Assignee: Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH (Ingelheim am Rhein, DE)
Application Number:12/299,650
Patent Claims: 1. An atomizer (1) for a fluid (2), comprising: a fluid reservoir in the form of a container (3); a nozzle (12) for the delivery and atomization of the fluid (2), wherein the fluid (2) is delivered in metered individual full-doses; and a conveying element in the form of a conveying tube (9), which is movable for conveying the fluid, which is movable: (i) in a preliminary movement to a tensioning position for delivering a preliminary amount of the fluid, and thereafter (ii) in a main movement for delivering a full-dose for actual delivery and atomization of the fluid (2), wherein the conveying element is movable counter to a spring force by at least one of: (i) a gear (20), and (ii) manual actuation of the atomizer (1) into an over-tensioning position from which the conveying element is moved by spring force into the tensioning position, wherein the preliminary amount of fluid (2), which is substantially less than a metered individual full-dose, rinses the nozzle (12) and is delivered before delivery of each metered individual full-dose or on each tensioning of the atomizer (1).

2. The atomizer according to claim 1, wherein the preliminary amount is between 0.5 to 3.0 microliters.

3. The atomizer according to claim l, wherein the preliminary amount is one of: (i) between 1 to 10 percent of an amount of each full-dose and (ii) at least five times a volume of the nozzle (12).

4. The atomizer according to claim 1, wherein the preliminary movement and main movement are carried out exclusively by spring force.

5. The atomizer according to claim 1, wherein a stroke (d) of the preliminary movement is 0.2 to 1 millimeters.

6. The atomizer according to claim 1, wherein the atomizer (1) has a locking element (8) which in a locking position secures the conveying element directly or indirectly in the tensioning position and can be moved manually out of the locking position in order to release the conveying element.

7. The atomizer according to claim 1, wherein the atomizer (1) contains a fluid (2) that contains a solvent.

8. The atomizer according to claim 1, wherein the atomizer (1) contains an inhalable formulation or a medicament in the form of a fluid (2), selected from anticholinergics, betamimetics, steroids, phosphodiesterase IV-inhibitors, LTD4-antagonists and EGFR-kinase-inhibitors, antiallergics, ergot alkaloid derivatives, triptans, CGRP-antagonists, phosphodiesterase-V-inhibitors, and any combination of each of the foregoing.

9. The atomizer according to claim 1, wherein the atomizer (1) is constructed as a portable inhaler for medicinal aerosol therapy.

10. The atomizer according to claim 1, wherein the fluid includes a medicament selected from anticholinergics, betamimetics, steroids, phosphodiesterase IV-inhibitors, LTD4-antagonists and EGFR-kinase-inhibitors, antiallergics, ergot alkaloid derivatives, triptans, CGRP-antagonists, phosphodiesterase-V-inhibitors, and any combination of each of the foregoing.

11. A method for delivering and atomizing fluid (2), which is delivered in individual, metered full-doses through a nozzle (12), the method comprising: moving a conveying element in the form of a conveying tube (9) for conveying the fluid in a preliminary movement to a tensioning position for delivering a preliminary amount of the fluid; and thereafter moving the conveying element in a main movement for delivering an individual metered full-dose for actual delivery and atomization of the fluid (2), wherein the conveying element is movable counter to a spring force into an over-tensioning position, and from which the conveying element is moved by spring force into the tensioning position, and wherein the preliminary amount of fluid (2) is substantially less than the individual metered full-dose, and rinses the nozzle (12) before delivery of each individual metered full-dose or on each tensioning of the atomizer (1).

12. The method according to claim 11, wherein the preliminary amount is between 0.5 and 3.0 microliters.

13. The method according to claim 11, wherein the preliminary amount is between 1 to 10 percent of the amount of the full-dose.

14. The method according to claim 11, wherein the preliminary movement and main movement are carried out exclusively by spring force.

15. The method according to claim 11, wherein a stroke (d) of the preliminary movement is 0.2 to 1 millimeters.

16. The method according to claim 11, wherein the conveying element is released in the tensioning position by manual operation of a locking element (8).
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