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Details for Patent: 7,618,394

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Details for Patent: 7,618,394

Title:Needleless syringe using supersonic gas flow for particle delivery
Abstract: A needleless syringe having a membrane (28) which is ruptured by gas pressure to generate a supersonic gas flow in which particles containing a therapeutic agent are injected.
Inventor(s): Bellhouse; Brian J. (Islip, GB), Sarphie; David F. (Oxford, GB), Greenford; John C. (Abingdon, GB)
Assignee: Powderject Research Limited (Oxford, GB)
Filing Date:Dec 09, 2002
Application Number:10/314,336
Claims:1. A needleless syringe comprising: an elongate tubular nozzle; a rupturable membrane initially closing a passage through the nozzle adjacent an upstream end of the nozzle; particles located adjacent to the membrane and between two rupturable diaphragms; and energizing means for applying to an upstream side of the membrane a gaseous pressure sufficient to burst the membrane and to produce through the nozzle a gas flow in which the particles are entrained.

2. A syringe according to claim 1, wherein the energizing means comprises: a chamber upstream of the membrane; and means for a controlled increase of gaseous pressure in the chamber.

3. A syringe according to claim 2, wherein the means for increasing the pressure in the chamber comprises a source of compressed gas connected to the chamber.

4. A syringe according to claim 3, wherein the syringe is self-contained and portable, and wherein the syringe comprises a reservoir of compressed gas.

5. A syringe according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the gas applied to the upstream side of the membrane to burst the membrane is lighter than air.

6. A syringe according to any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein the particles are of a powdered therapeutic agent.

7. A syringe according to claim 6, wherein the syringe comprises at least three diaphragms, wherein the diaphragms define separate spaces for containment of different types of particles.

8. A syringe according to claim 6, wherein the two rupturable diaphragms extend across an interior of the nozzle.

9. A syringe according to claim 1, wherein the rupturable membrane is provided by the rupturable diaphragms.

10. A syringe according to any one of claims 1 to 4 or 9, wherein the diaphragms are sealed together around edges thereof to form a common sachet or capsule containing the particles.

11. A syringe according to claim 10, wherein at least one of the two diaphragms is dimpled away from the other to provide separation sufficient to locate the majority of the particles radially inwardly of the diaphragm edges.

12. A syringe according to claim 1, wherein, downstream of the membrane, an interior of the nozzle contains a gas that is less dense than air, and wherein the gas is contained by a readily removable seal at a downstream end of the nozzle.

13. A syringe according to claim 12, wherein the seal is a removable plug or cap.

14. A syringe according to claim 12, wherein the seal is a peelable foil.

15. A syringe according to any one of claims 12 to 14, wherein the gas contained within the nozzle is helium.

16. A syringe according to any one of claims 1 to 4, 9, or 12 to 14, wherein the nozzle is convergent/divergent downstream of the membrane.

17. A syringe according to claim 1, wherein a spacer is provided at a downstream end of the nozzle to provide a positive spacing of the nozzle from a target.

18. A syringe according to claim 17, wherein the spacing is up to 35 mm.

19. A syringe according to claim 17 or claim 18, wherein the spacer is a tubular shroud sufficiently large and shaped so that it is configured to allow a jet of gas-entrained particles leaving the nozzle outlet, in use, to expand to a cross section at least five times the area of the outlet at a position level with the downstream end of the shroud.

20. A syringe according to any one of claims 17 or 18, wherein the spacer is an imperforate tubular shroud, wherein a silencer is positioned in an annular space within a barrel surrounding the tubular nozzle, and wherein the silencer is configured to receive a shock wave reflected from the target back through the spacer shroud.

21. A syringe according to any one of claims 1 to 4, 9, 12 to 14, 17, or 18, wherein the syringe is readily separable into a disposable downstream part and an upstream part, wherein the downstream disposable part comprises at least the nozzle, membrane and particles, and wherein the upstream part comprises at least part of the energizing means.

22. A sterile package containing the downstream disposable part of the syringe according to claim 21.

23. A syringe according to claim 17, wherein the spacing is between 5-15 mm.

24. A syringe according to claim 1, wherein the gas flow produced in which the particles are entrained is supersonic.

25. A syringe according to claim 1, wherein the syringe, on activation, is configured to deliver the particles through the nozzle at a velocity in the range of between about 200 m/s and about 2,500 m/s, wherein the particles have a size predominantly in the range of between about 0.1 .mu.m and about 250 .mu.m, and wherein a density of the particles is predominantly in the range of between about 0.1 g/cm.sup.3 and about 25 g/cm.sup.3.

26. A syringe according to claim 1, wherein the particles have a size and density such that the syringe, on activation, is configured to deliver the particles to a transdermal penetration depth of between about 100 .mu.m and about 500 .mu.m.

27. A syringe according to claim 1, wherein the particles are coated with DNA.

28. A syringe according to claim 1, wherein the particles are dry.

29. A syringe according to claim 1, wherein the particles have a size predominantly in a range of 0.1 to 10 .mu.m.

30. A syringe according to claim 1, wherein the particles comprise dense carrier particles.

31. A syringe according to claim 30, wherein the dense carrier particles are gold.

32. A syringe according to claim 30, wherein the dense carrier particles are tungsten.

33. A syringe according to claim 30, wherein the dense carrier particles are coated with genetic material.

34. A syringe according to claim 30, wherein the dense carrier particles are coated with DNA.

35. A syringe according to claim 1, wherein said particles have a density of an order of 20 g/cm.sup.3.

36. A needleless syringe comprising: a nozzle; particles provided between two rupturable diaphragms; and energizing means, wherein, on activation, the syringe is configured to entrain the particles in a gas flow and deliver the particles through the nozzle at a velocity of at least 200 m/s, and wherein the particles have a size predominantly in the range 0.1 to 250 .mu.m and a density in the range of 0.1 to 25 g/cm.sup.3.

37. A syringe according to claim 36, wherein the particles are of a powdered therapeutic agent.

38. A syringe according to claim 37, wherein the agent has substantially no inert carrier or diluent by volume.

39. A syringe according to claim 36 or claim 38, wherein the velocity range is between 500 m/s and 1,500 m/s and/or the size range is between 0.1 .mu.m and 50 .mu.m and/or the density range is between 2.0 g/cm.sup.3 and 25 g/cm.sup.3.

40. A syringe according to claim 39, wherein the velocity range is between 750 m/s and 1,000 m/s and/or the size range is between 0.1 .mu.m and 10 .mu.m; and/or the density is substantially 19.3 g/cm.sup.3.

41. The needleless syringe according to claim 36 wherein, the syringe is configured to deliver the particles through the nozzle at a velocity of in the range of between 200 m/s and 2,500 m/s.

42. A needleless syringe comprising: a nozzle; particles; and energizing means, wherein, on activation, the syringe is configured to entrain the particles in a gas flow and deliver the particles with a momentum density of between 2 kg/s/m and 10 kg/s/m.

43. A syringe according to claim 42, wherein, on activation, the syringe is configured to deliver the particles with a momentum density of between 4 kg/s/m and 7 kg/s/m.
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