US 3220413 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent O 3,220,413 APPLICATOR Joseph Sunnen, 400 S. Warson Road, Clayton, Mo.
Filed Apr. 3, 1961, Ser. No. 100,059 v Claims. (Cl. 12S-261) The present invention relates generally to applicators and to methods of application and more particularly to applicators for yapplying medicinal and chemical substances and to the method employed for applying said substances.
Many devices and methods of applying medicinal and chemical substances have been devised and used in the past, and many of the known devices and methods have been used in the application of such substances in human body cavities. For the most part, however, known devices and methods have been used in the application of substances in liquid, cream, jelly, and pill form, and none so far as known has suggested or employed means for applying such substances through the medium of a stable foam carrier. Furthermore, the known means and method have had certain disadvantages and shortcomings such as providing incomplete and non-uniform coverage of lthe area being treated or coated. They have also been relatively more difficult and inconvenient to use and in some cases have required considerable time to complete an application and to cover the desired area. In some cases the form in which the substance is applied has also made it diflicult to maintain the substance in the desired area for the time required for treatment. These and other disadvantages and shortcomings of known means and methods are overcome by the present invent-ion which teaches the use of novel applicator means and a novel method of applying medicinal or chemical substances in a manner to uniformly cover and remain in contact with a desired area. To this end the subject means and method employ a stable foam carrier for the substance being applied.
It is therefore a principal object of the present invention to provide improved applicator means and method of applying medicinal and chemical substances which are particularly well suited to the application of such substances in body cavities.
Another object is to use a stable foam carrier for the application of medicinal and chemical substances.
Another object is to provide relatively inexpensive and easy to use means for applying medicinal and chemical substances.
Another object is to provide an applicator device which includes means sensitive to touch or feel as well as sight to indicate when it is lled to a predetermined level.
Another object is to provide applicator means that are relatively easily disassembled and cleaned.
Another object is to provide relatively small lightweight applicator means.
Another object is to provide applicator means particularly well suited for applying substances dispensed in foam form from aerosol containers.
Yet another object is to provide applicator means that are particularly well `suited to the application of substances into body cavities such as into female vaginas.
Briefly, the present invention comprises an applicator device having a tubular body portion open at one end, and a plunger member slidably positioned in said body, said plunger having an operator portion extending outwardly from said body opposite the open end `for moving the plunger member back and forth in the body. In one form of the device an opening is also provided in the side of the body and means carried on the plunger member cooperate with the said side opening to indicate by touch sensitivity a predetermined plunger position. The
invention is particularly well suited to use with aerosol dispensed substances in a foam or foam-like form, and the invention also resides in the method of using the subject applicator device.
These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent after considering the following detailed description of several embodiments of the invention in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, wherein:
FIG. l is a side elevational view of an applicator constructed according to the present invention and shown in cooperative engagement with an outlet valve on an aerosol-type container;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the applicator per se as seen from the left in FIG. l;
FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional View taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 2, showing the applicator in a substantially extended or iilled condition;
FIG. 4 is a cross-sectional view taken on line 4 4 of FIG. 3;
FIG. 5 is a front view of the plunger portion of the applicator of FIGS. 1-3;
FIG. 6 is a right side view of the plunger of FIG. 5
FIG. 7 is a side view similar to FIG. 6 showing a modified form of plunger member;
FIG. 8 is a side elevational view similar to FIG. 1 showing a modified applicator construction; and
FIG. 9 is a cross-sectional view taken on line 9 9 of FIG. 8.
Referring to the drawings by reference numbers, the number 20 refers to an applicator for applying or dispensing medicinal or chemical substances, and is particularly well suited to the application of such substances into a body cavity.
In FIGS. .1 3 the applicator 20 is shown in assembled condition and comprises a tubular member 22 having an internal capacity or expandable chamber capable of holding a predetermined amount of a ysubstance to be applied, said substance to be applied while -in `a stable foam or foam-like carrier. One end of the member 22 has an opening 24 therethrough Iof desired size and shape as defined by an annular flange 26.
A plunger member `2S is sli-dably positioned in the tubular member 22 as shown in FIG. 3 [and its movement in the member 22 forms an expandable chamber for re- -ceiving the substance to be applied. The plunger 28 has a piston port-ion 30 lon the end which slidably contacts the inner surface of the tubular member 22, and a rod portion 32 is connected to the piston portion 30. The rod portion 32 extends outwardly from the end of the tubular member 22 opposite the opening 24 and has a button 34 on the end thereof. In the form of the applicator shown in FIGS. 1 4, the rod portion 32 has an H-shaped crosssection, see FIG. 4, although other shapes could also be used.
The end of the tubular member 22 through which the rod 32 extends is provided with a closure member 36 which is slidably and sealably fitted thereon 'by an integral annular ange 38. The cl-osure member 36 also has an H-shaped oepning that slidably receives the r-od 32.
One side of the closure member 36 has an opening 40 therethrough, and the associated side of the rod 32 carries a spring member 42 which has a cam portion 44 that cooperates with the opening 40 `as shown in FIG 3. The pur-pose of the opening 40 and spring 42 is to provide means, sensitive to touch, for indicating to t-he user a parti-cular position of the plunger 28 in the member 22, and thereby to indicate a predetermined fullness of the .applicator 20. The lower end of the spring 42 is attached to the piston portion 30 of the plunger 28, and the upper end is formed to extend through an opening 46 in the central portion 48 of the plunger rod 32. The `upper end of the spring 42 is therefore allowed limited movement relative to t-he plunger 28 as shown in dotted outline in FIG 6, and the spring is tensioned to normally be in the outwardly extended position on the rod 32. This enables the spring 42 to have limited movement on the central portion -48 yof the rod 32.
The applicator is assembled in the condition shown in FIGS. 1 3 and is filled by being held between the thumb rand for-efinger and pressed against a normally 'closed valve member 50 on an aerosol type container 52. When suficient pressure is applied to open the valve 50, lthe contents of the container 52 which includes a liquid substance and a propellant -will be emitted through the valve 50 and through the opening 24 into the expandible chamber -in the tubular member 22 in a foam or foam-like i condition. As the foam product is emitted from the container 52 and enters the tubular member 22 it operates against the piston 30 and moves the piston upwardly. In so doing, the plunger 28 also rises and the `cam portion 44 of the spring 42 moves past the opening 40 and engages the finger (or thumb). This indicates to the user that the applicator is filled to the desired level. The applicator 20 is then removed from the valve 5f) and is ready for use. T'he shape of the applicator makes it particularly well suited for yapplying substances into body cavities, such as into a vagina. The application consists of simply inserting the member into the cavity to the -desired depth and then pressing on the button 34 to expel the contents thereof through the ripening 24. Since the contents yare preferably in .a foam condition they will cover a relatively large area of the body cavity and will .provide a relatively uniform coating for the entire .area of the cavity.
A modified form of plunger member E60 is shown in FIG. 7. The principal difference between the modified plunger 60 and the plunger 28 is that the modified plunger spring member 62 has a wavy cam portion 64 which cooperates with the thumb or finger opening 40. This waviness is more sensitive to touch and therefore provides a more easily recognizable indica-tion of when the applicator is filled to the desired level.
After the applicator 20 has been used it is easily disassembled for cleaning by sliding the closure member 36, which -is preferably constructed of relatively soft plastic or rubber material, off the end of the tubular member 22, and removing the piston 28. The parts are then washed, rinsed `and reassembled for later use.
In FIGS. 8 and 9 there is shown a modified form of applicator 70. The modified applicator 70 is of two piece construction and has a tubular member 72 constructed similarly to the tubular member 22 except that it is not provided with a closure member such as the member 36. Instead, the tubular member 72 is provided w-ith one or more slight indentations 74 adjacent the upper open end thereof. A plunger member 76 having a piston portion 73 makes lsliding engagement with the inner surface of the tubular member 72. The piston portion 78, however, Will not easily slide past the indentations 74 but can be forced past for removal and cleaning purposes. In this construction as in the other constructions, the members are preferably formed of relatively inexpensive .plastic material, and the indentations 74 normally hold the members in assemble-d condition. Also the modified applicator 70, as well as the applicator 20 can lbe formed of a clear, transparent plastic and a line 80 can be applied to the surface t-o provide visual means for indicating the desired level of filling of the applicator.
The present `.applicator and rnethod of applying substances has been found to be particularly suitable in the application of substances into relatively deep body cavities such as into female vaginas and the like. The application of substances into such areas when applied through the medium of a stable foam carrier provides a nonmessy, efiicient and uniform Way of relatively evenly covering or coating the surfaces of such cavities, and also provides a more convenient comfortable way of performing the application. Obviously, many different substances can be applied using the subject applicator and method .and it is therefore not intended to limit the invention to a particular type -of application or a particular substance,
Thus, there has been shown and described novel applicator means and a novel method for applying medicinal, vchem-ical and other substances which fulfills all of the objects and advantages sought therefor. Many changes, modifications, and alterations of the subject means and method `and many different use-s and substances therefor will become apparent to those skilled in the art after considering this specifica-tion and the accompanying drawing. All such changes, modifications and variations and other uses and substances therefor which donot depar-t from the spirit and scope of the invention are deemed to be covered by the invention which is limited only by the claims which follow.
What is claimed is:
1. Applicator means for applying medicinal substances comprising a tubular member having an opening at one end defined by an inwardly extending annular flange, a piston and rod assembly slidably positioned in the tubular member, means on the tubular member engageable with the piston and rod assembly to prevent rotation `of the piston therein, a finger or thumb opening in the side of the tubular member adjacent the end thereof opposite from the aforesaid open end, and means carried by said piston `and rod assembly in alignment with said side opening for engaging a finger or thumb positioned against the side opening to indicate by feel sensitivity a particular position of said assembly in the tubular member.
2. Applicator means for applying an aerosol dispensed substance in stable foam condition comprising .a tubular body having an opening at one end defined by an inwardly extending flange, said fiange being of a size to cooperate with an 'outlet valve on an aerosol container of a type for dispensing a substance in a foam carrier, a piston and rod assembly slidable in said tubular body and movable from an empty position adjacent to the open end of the tubular body to a full position spaced from the open end when pressed against and opening the Valve on an aerosol container, a thumb or finger opening in the side of the body adjacent the opposite end thereof from the open end, and means on the piston and rod assembly adapted to cooperate Vwith said .side opening to indicate by feel sensitivity a particular position of the assembly in the body.
3. The `applicator means defined in claim 2 wherein said means carried by the piston and rod assembly includes a spring member extending outwardly from the piston and rod assembly along the side thereof associated with the side opening in the tubular member.
4. The applicator means defined in claim 3 wherein said spring member has a cam porti-on ywhich moves past the side opening during movement of the piston and -rod assembly in the body.
5. The applicator means defined in claim 3 wherein said spring lmember has a cam portion defined in part by a wavy portion which moves past the side opening during movement .of the piston and rod assembly in the body.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,052,314 8/1936 Perraton 128-261 2,664,088 12/1953 Hoch 1528-261 2,724,3 85 11/ 1955 Lockhart '128-261 2,752,920 7/ 1956 Kurkjian 12S-261 2,848,998 8/1958 Bryan 222-81 ADELE M. EAGER, Primary Examiner.
LOUIS R. PRI'NCE, Examiner.