US20060255064A1 - Fluid container with integrated valve - Google Patents

Fluid container with integrated valve Download PDF

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Publication number
US20060255064A1
US20060255064A1 US11/382,504 US38250406A US2006255064A1 US 20060255064 A1 US20060255064 A1 US 20060255064A1 US 38250406 A US38250406 A US 38250406A US 2006255064 A1 US2006255064 A1 US 2006255064A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
valve
fluid
container
apparatus
bladder
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Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Abandoned
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US11/382,504
Inventor
William DONALDSON
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PAR TECHNLOGIES LLC
AdaptivEnergy LLC
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AdaptivEnergy LLC
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Publication date
Priority to US67922705P priority Critical
Priority to US70073605P priority
Application filed by AdaptivEnergy LLC filed Critical AdaptivEnergy LLC
Priority to US11/382,504 priority patent/US20060255064A1/en
Assigned to PAR TECHNLOGIES, LLC reassignment PAR TECHNLOGIES, LLC ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: DONALDSON, WILILAM M.
Publication of US20060255064A1 publication Critical patent/US20060255064A1/en
Assigned to ADAPTIVENERGY, LLC reassignment ADAPTIVENERGY, LLC CHANGE OF NAME (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: PAR TECHNOLOGIES, LLC
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M5/00Devices for bringing media into the body in a subcutaneous, intra-vascular or intramuscular way; Accessories therefor, e.g. filling or cleaning devices, arm-rests
    • A61M5/14Infusion devices, e.g. infusing by gravity; Blood infusion; Accessories therefor
    • A61M5/142Pressure infusion, e.g. using pumps
    • A61M5/14212Pumping with an aspiration and an expulsion action
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M5/00Devices for bringing media into the body in a subcutaneous, intra-vascular or intramuscular way; Accessories therefor, e.g. filling or cleaning devices, arm-rests
    • A61M5/14Infusion devices, e.g. infusing by gravity; Blood infusion; Accessories therefor
    • A61M5/142Pressure infusion, e.g. using pumps
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B67OPENING, CLOSING OR CLEANING BOTTLES, JARS OR SIMILAR CONTAINERS; LIQUID HANDLING
    • B67DDISPENSING, DELIVERING OR TRANSFERRING LIQUIDS, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • B67D7/00Apparatus or devices for transferring liquids from bulk storage containers or reservoirs into vehicles or into portable containers, e.g. for retail sale purposes
    • B67D7/02Apparatus or devices for transferring liquids from bulk storage containers or reservoirs into vehicles or into portable containers, e.g. for retail sale purposes for transferring liquids other than fuel or lubricants
    • B67D7/0216Apparatus or devices for transferring liquids from bulk storage containers or reservoirs into vehicles or into portable containers, e.g. for retail sale purposes for transferring liquids other than fuel or lubricants by squeezing collapsible or flexible storage containers
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61JCONTAINERS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR MEDICAL OR PHARMACEUTICAL PURPOSES; DEVICES OR METHODS SPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR BRINGING PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCTS INTO PARTICULAR PHYSICAL OR ADMINISTERING FORMS; DEVICES FOR ADMINISTERING FOOD OR MEDICINES ORALLY; BABY COMFORTERS; DEVICES FOR RECEIVING SPITTLE
    • A61J1/00Containers specially adapted for medical or pharmaceutical purposes
    • A61J1/05Containers specially adapted for medical or pharmaceutical purposes for collecting, storing or administering blood, plasma or medical fluids ; Infusion or perfusion containers
    • A61J1/14Details, e.g. provisions for hanging or shape retaining means; Accessories therefor, e.g. inlet or outlet ports, filters or caps
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M2205/00General characteristics of the apparatus
    • A61M2205/02General characteristics of the apparatus characterised by a particular materials
    • A61M2205/0272Electro-active or magneto-active materials
    • A61M2205/0283Electro-active polymers [EAP]
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M2205/00General characteristics of the apparatus
    • A61M2205/02General characteristics of the apparatus characterised by a particular materials
    • A61M2205/0272Electro-active or magneto-active materials
    • A61M2205/0294Piezoelectric materials
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M5/00Devices for bringing media into the body in a subcutaneous, intra-vascular or intramuscular way; Accessories therefor, e.g. filling or cleaning devices, arm-rests
    • A61M5/14Infusion devices, e.g. infusing by gravity; Blood infusion; Accessories therefor
    • A61M5/142Pressure infusion, e.g. using pumps
    • A61M5/14212Pumping with an aspiration and an expulsion action
    • A61M5/14224Diaphragm type
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M5/00Devices for bringing media into the body in a subcutaneous, intra-vascular or intramuscular way; Accessories therefor, e.g. filling or cleaning devices, arm-rests
    • A61M5/14Infusion devices, e.g. infusing by gravity; Blood infusion; Accessories therefor
    • A61M5/142Pressure infusion, e.g. using pumps
    • A61M5/145Pressure infusion, e.g. using pumps using pressurised reservoirs, e.g. pressurised by means of pistons
    • A61M5/148Pressure infusion, e.g. using pumps using pressurised reservoirs, e.g. pressurised by means of pistons flexible, e.g. independent bags
    • A61M5/1483Pressure infusion, e.g. using pumps using pressurised reservoirs, e.g. pressurised by means of pistons flexible, e.g. independent bags using flexible bags externally pressurised by fluid pressure
    • A61M5/1486Pressure infusion, e.g. using pumps using pressurised reservoirs, e.g. pressurised by means of pistons flexible, e.g. independent bags using flexible bags externally pressurised by fluid pressure the bags being substantially completely surrounded by fluid
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61MDEVICES FOR INTRODUCING MEDIA INTO, OR ONTO, THE BODY; DEVICES FOR TRANSDUCING BODY MEDIA OR FOR TAKING MEDIA FROM THE BODY; DEVICES FOR PRODUCING OR ENDING SLEEP OR STUPOR
    • A61M5/00Devices for bringing media into the body in a subcutaneous, intra-vascular or intramuscular way; Accessories therefor, e.g. filling or cleaning devices, arm-rests
    • A61M5/14Infusion devices, e.g. infusing by gravity; Blood infusion; Accessories therefor
    • A61M5/168Means for controlling media flow to the body or for metering media to the body, e.g. drip meters, counters ; Monitoring media flow to the body
    • A61M5/16804Flow controllers
    • A61M5/16809Flow controllers by repeated filling and emptying of an intermediate volume

Abstract

Embodiments of fluid storage containers (312) comprise a displaceable electrodynamic valve (344) for selectively regulating release of fluid from the container. The fluid storage container has a port (342) and comprises means for defining a reservoir (330) for accommodating a pressurizing a fluid. A displaceable electrodynamic valve selectively opens and closes the port and thereby regulates release of the pressurized fluid from the container. In some implementations, the container has a lid (400) and the port is provided in the container lid. In other implementations, the container has a container body, and the port is provided in the container body. The displaceable electrodynamic valve (344) can take various configurations (e.g., flapper, solenoid) and various forms (e.g., piezoelectric valve) in differing example embodiments. In some embodiments a compressor (361) is provided for pressurizing the fluid, and can also take various forms.

Description

  • This application claims the priority and benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application 60/700,736, filed Jul. 20, 2005, and U.S. Provisional Patent Application 60/679,227, filed May 10, 2005, and is related to simultaneously-filed U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______ (attorney docket: 4209-113), entitled “DISPOSABLE FLUID CONTAINER WITH INTEGRATED PUMP MOTIVE ASSEMBLY”, all of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.
  • BACKGROUND
  • 1. Field of the Invention
  • The present invention pertains to the dispensing of fluids, particularly liquids, from a container which is inexpensive and preferably at least partially disposable.
  • 2. Related Art and Other Considerations
  • In myriad environments fluids are delivered or dispensed in controlled manner from disposable, inexpensive containers (e.g., bags, pouches, cartons, cartridges, just to name a few). The dispensing may be controlled to obtain a required or target dosage or amount over time, such as (for example) control of a medicament to a patient or an ingredient utilized in an industrial or other process.
  • Typically such control is achieved by connecting the disposable container to a host device, e.g., by various tubes or hoses, and allowing a pump at or near the host device or other device external to the container to draw fluid in metered manner from the container. When the container is closed and flexible, the pumping of the fluid essentially collapses the container. Such pump may be, for example, a peristaltic or other type of pump, and generally is rather sophisticated, bulky, and expensive. Over time successive containers of fluid are connected to the host device so that the external pump is utilized for the successive containers, typically having a working life comparable to that of the host device (e.g., on the order of years). In view of reuse of the host device, the pumps that are utilized are of the type that do not have direct contact with the fluid being dispensed or delivery. For example, a peristaltic pump has rollers or the like which contact a tube through which the fluid is supplied, but do not contact the fluid. In some fields and applications such as medicine and industrial processes, it is important (in view of reuse of the pump components) that the pump components not be contaminated by previous use, or in any way serve as a potential source of contamination or mixing for future jobs. In such host devices, the pumps that are utilized are never filled with fluids, but merely serve as indirect transmission agents for conveying fluid.
  • BRIEF SUMMARY
  • Embodiments of fluid storage containers comprise a displaceable electrodynamic valve for selectively regulating release of fluid from the container.
  • In some embodiments, the fluid storage container comprises a collapsible bladder for accommodating a liquid; a container body for at least partially enclosing the bladder; a displaceable electrodynamic valve for selectively opening and closing a port of the bladder and thereby regulating release of the liquid from the bladder; and a compressor for applying pressure to the bladder to expel liquid from the bladder through the port when the valve is open.
  • In other embodiments, the fluid storage container has a port and comprises means for defining a reservoir for accommodating a pressurizing a fluid. A displaceable electrodynamic valve selectively opens and closes the port and thereby regulates release of the pressurized fluid from the container. In some implementations of these embodiments, the container has a lid and the port is provided in the container lid. In other implementations, the container has a container body, and the port is provided in the container body. The container body may a rigid container body.
  • The compressor can take various forms in differing example embodiments. In one example embodiment the compressor is a spring biased for applying pressure to the bladder. In another example embodiment the compressor comprises a gravity weighted member for applying pressure to the bladder. In yet another example embodiment the compressor provides a chemical reaction for applying pressure to the bladder.
  • In other embodiments, the fluid storage container comprises an essentially rigid container body for accommodating a pressurized fluid, the container body having a port and a displaceable electrodynamic valve for selectively opening and closing the port and thereby regulating release of the pressurized fluid from the container body.
  • In differing implementations of the various embodiments, the displaceable electrodynamic valve can be a piezoelectric valve, a valve comprised of a electroreactive polymer, a valve comprised of a electrorestrictive member, a valve comprised of a memory alloy, or a valve comprised of a magneto-restrictive element.
  • In the differing embodiments, the displaceable electrodynamic valve can take various configurations, such as a flapper-type valve or a diaphragm-actuated solenoid type valve.
  • As one distinct aspect of this container technology, the displaceable electrodynamic valve can be connected via an electrical lead and/or terminal to receive valve driving signals from outside the container. For example, the valve can be connected to receive valve driving signals from the host device. Alternatively, the valve can be connected to receive valve driving signals from a drive device which is distinct from the host device.
  • As another distinct aspect of this container technology, the container may include a memory device for storing container information in electronic form. Contents of the memory device (e.g., the container information stored in electronic form) can be accessed by a drive device or other external device via an electrical lead and/or terminal. The container information stored in electronic form can be one or more of container identification information, container fluid contents information, container volume information, and the like. The memory device can take the form of an EEPROM or the like.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The foregoing and other objects, features, and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following more particular description of preferred embodiments as illustrated in the accompanying drawings in which reference characters refer to the same parts throughout the various views. The drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon illustrating the principles of the invention.
  • FIG. 1A is a front view of a fluid container according to a first example embodiment.
  • FIG. 1B is a right sectioned view of the fluid container of FIG. 1A taken along line 1B-1B.
  • FIG. 2A is a detailed front sectioned view of a portion of the fluid container of FIG. 2A showing selective closure of a displaceable electrodynamic valve.
  • FIG. 2B is a detailed front sectioned view of a portion of the fluid container of FIG. 2A showing selective opening of a displaceable electrodynamic valve.
  • FIG. 3 is a detailed front sectioned view of a portion of a fluid container wherein a displaceable electrodynamic valve takes the form of a piezoelectric valve.
  • FIG. 4A, FIG. 4B, and FIG. 4C are front views showing differing embodiments of fluid handling systems comprising both a fluid container and a host or device.
  • FIG. 5 is a front view of a fluid container according to another example embodiment having a different type of compressor.
  • FIG. 6A and FIG. 6B are front views of fluid containers according to yet other example embodiments having a yet different type of compressor.
  • FIG. 7 is a front view of a fluid container according to another example embodiment.
  • FIG. 8A and FIG. 8B are front sectioned views of a fluid container according to another example embodiment, with FIG. 8A showing a displaceable electrodynamic valve actuated so that the container is closed and FIG. 8B showing the displaceable electrodynamic valve actuated so that the container is open.
  • FIG. 9 is a front sectioned view of a fluid container according to an example embodiment wherein a displaceable electrodynamic valve is situated in a container lid.
  • FIG. 10 is a front sectioned view of a fluid container according to another example embodiment wherein a displaceable electrodynamic valve is situated in a container lid.
  • FIG. 11 is a front sectioned view of a fluid container according to another example embodiment wherein a displaceable electrodynamic valve is situated in a container lid.
  • FIG. 12 is a front sectioned view of a fluid container according to another example embodiment wherein a displaceable electrodynamic valve is situated in a container lid.
  • FIG. 13A-FIG. 13B are front sectioned views of a fluid container according to another example embodiment wherein a displaceable electrodynamic valve is situated in a container lid, with FIG. 13A showing the displaceable electrodynamic valve actuated so that the container is closed and FIG. 13B showing the displaceable electrodynamic valve actuated so that the container is open.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • In the following description, for purposes of explanation and not limitation, specific details are set forth such as particular architectures, interfaces, techniques, etc. in order to provide a thorough understanding of the present invention. However, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the present invention may be practiced in other embodiments that depart from these specific details. In other instances, detailed descriptions of well-known devices, circuits, and methods are omitted so as not to obscure the description of the present invention with unnecessary detail. Moreover, individual function blocks are shown in some of the figures. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the functions may be implemented using individual hardware circuits, using software functioning in conjunction with a suitably programmed digital microprocessor or general purpose computer, using an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC), and/or using one or more digital signal processors (DSPs).
  • FIG. 1A and FIG. 1B illustrate an example fluid container 312 according to a non-limiting example embodiment. The fluid container 312 comprises a container body 314. The container body 314 can take various shapes such as an essentially quadrilateral shape as shown in particular implementation illustrated in FIG. 1A and FIG. 1B. Alternatively, container body 314 can be form with a different shape, such as a different cross section in a plane perpendicular to the plane of the FIG. 1A. Such cross sectional shape, instead of being rectangular, could be (for example) circular or even oval, or other appropriate shape conducive to the application of use of the fluid. Likely in most embodiments the container body 314 has at least a front wall 315; a rear wall 316; and a top or end wall 317. The container body 314 also includes (unlabeled) sidewalls in a quadrilateral implementation.
  • Opposite top or end wall 317, container body 314 has a lid or removable closure wall 318. The lid 318 can engage either the interior of a mouth of container body 314 (as shown), or engage an exterior perimeter of container body 314, such engagement being by any suitable means. For example, (if circular) the perimeter of lid 318 can be threaded for engagement with counter threads on container body 314. Alternatively, lid 318 can be latched or otherwise secured to container body 314.
  • The container body 314 is preferably substantially rigid or semi-rigid and sized to define an interior cavity of sufficient capacity to accommodate a collapsible bladder 320. The collapsible bladder 320, in turn, accommodates a liquid, preferably a liquid but possibly a gas. In one example, non-limiting embodiment, collapsible bladder 320 is comprised of flexible plys or layers (e.g., front layer 324 and rear layer 326, both shown in FIG. 1B). In such plied embodiment, the collapsible bladder 320 defines a fluid reservoir 330 which is bounded on its sides by a seam 332 which joins front layer 324 and rear layer 326.
  • The shape and configuration of the container body 314, collapsible bladder 320, and fluid reservoir 330 defined therein can vary depending on implementation, only an example being shown in the embodiment of FIG. 1A and other embodiments. The collapsible bladder 320 can optionally comprise or have attached thereto additional features or accessories, such as one or more flanges 336, 337, and 338. In the illustrated implementation of the first embodiment, the flanges include left bottom corner flange 336; right bottom corner flange 337; and, bottom central flange 338. Preferably the flanges 336, 337, and 338 are formed by union or bonding of front layer 324 and rear layer 326, and are preferably relatively flat regions.
  • The collapsible bladder 320 can be formed from any suitable material, examples of which are provided subsequently. In some example implementations, one or both of front layer 324 and rear layer 326 of collapsible bladder 320 can be transparent, as can be one or more walls of container body 314, thereby affording visibility of the fluid contained in fluid reservoir 330 and other internal contents and/or features of fluid container 312. Even though the internal contents and/or features may be visible because of such transparency, in the drawings the internal contents and/or features are illustrated with broken lines to reflect their internal location. The container body 314 can have, e.g., on its top wall 317, and a handle or hanger 340.
  • The collapsible bladder 320 also has a discharge port 342 formed at an end thereof. In the example, illustrated embodiment, discharge port 342 is situated at a bottom of collapsible bladder 320, bordering or near central flange 338. As also shown in FIG. 2A and FIG. 2B, the discharge port 342 is selectively opened and closed by displaceable electrodynamic valve 344. In the example, illustrated embodiment, displaceable electrodynamic valve 344 has a first or fixed end 346 which is secured to a inside surface of collapsible bladder 320 proximate discharge port 342, and a second or cantilevered end 348.
  • The displaceable electrodynamic valve 344 thus comprises a deformable or flexible member which selectively opens and closes discharge port 342. As used herein “displaceable electrodynamic valves” encompass piezoelectric valves and other types of displaceable electrodynamic valves such as valves formed using electroreactive polymer(s) (EAP), electrorestrictive members, valves comprised of memory alloys or magneto-restrictive elements. In essence, displaceable electrodynamic valve encompasses any “smart” material which can use applied electrical energy to yield a mechanical displacement or deformation of itself, and (preferably) when subject to a mechanical force produces an electrical current.
  • In one example, non-limiting embodiment, displaceable electrodynamic valve 344 is a piezoelectric valve such as that illustrated in FIG. 3. FIG. 3 illustrates that the piezoelectric valve which serves in one embodiment as displaceable electrodynamic valve 344 comprises a multi-layered laminate. The multi-layered laminate can comprise a piezoelectric wafer 349 which is laminated by an adhesive between metallic substrate layer 351 and outer metal layer 353. Electrical leads (e.g., two electrical leads) for activating the piezoelectric wafer 349 can be connected to electrodes which may be sputtered or otherwise formed on opposite sides of the piezoelectric wafer 349, or connected to the metallic substrate layer 351 and outer metal layer 353.
  • Example structures of the multi-layered piezoelectric laminate and processes for fabricating the same are described in or discernable from one or more of the following (all of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety): PCT Patent Application PCT/US01/28947, filed 14 Sep. 2001; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/380,547, filed Mar. 17, 2003, entitled “Piezoelectric Actuator and Pump Using Same”; U.S. patent application Ser. No. 10/380,589, filed Mar. 17, 2003; and U.S. Provisional Patent Application 60/670,657, filed Apr. 13, 2005, entitled PIEZOELECTRIC DIAPHRAGM ASSEMBLIES AND METHODS OF MAKING SAME.
  • The piezoelectric valve, or any other type of valve used as the displaceable electrodynamic valve 344, can be configured in any desired shape (e.g., rectangular flap, disk shaped, or otherwise). For the piezoelectric embodiment, in whatever form it takes, application of a voltage to the piezoelectric valve causes a flexure, stress, or compression in piezoelectric wafer 349. The flexure, stress, or compression in piezoelectric wafer 349 causes the piezoelectric element to deflect or displace, thereby moving the valve which it comprises, either to a port closing position or to a port opening position. In the particular implementation shown in FIG. 3, application of a non-zero voltage to the displaceable electrodynamic valve 344 causes flexure of the piezoelectric element 349 and thus an opening of the port 342 that otherwise would be covered by the valve. Additional information concerning active valves and alternate structures are provided in U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/024,937, filed Dec. 30, 2004, entitled “ACTIVE VALVE AND ACTIVE VALVING FOR PUMP”, which is incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.
  • Returning to the generic illustration of FIG. 2A and FIG. 2B, electrical leads attach or connect to the displaceable electrodynamic valve 344, collectively shown as electrical lead 355, for receipt of driving signals for application to displaceable electrodynamic valve 344. The electrical lead 355 extends from displaceable electrodynamic valve 344 through the one or more plys forming collapsible bladder 320, through flange 338, and through an electrical port 357 formed in lid 318. The electrical lead 355 may terminate in a connector or electrical terminal 380 (see FIG. 1A and FIG. 1B), if desired. As used herein, “electrical terminal” is understood to encompass other forms or devices for electrical interconnection, such as (by way of non-limiting example) a pigtail, pogo pins, spring-biased electrodes.
  • As thus far described, fluid container 312 generally comprises collapsible bladder 320 for accommodating a liquid, a container body 314 for at least partially enclosing the collapsible bladder 320; and, displaceable electrodynamic valve 344 for selectively opening and closing discharge port 342 and thereby regulating release of the liquid from collapsible bladder 320. In addition, fluid container 312 comprises a compressor 361 for applying pressure to collapsible bladder 320 to expel liquid from collapsible bladder 320 when displaceable electrodynamic valve 344 is open.
  • In accordance with differing embodiments, the compressor 361 can take differing forms. In the particular non-limiting, example embodiment shown in FIG. 1A and FIG. 1B, the compressor 361 takes the form of an extension spring assembly 363 provided in the interior of container body 314 at its upper end (i.e., at an end opposite the position of discharge port 342 of collapsible bladder 320). The extension spring assembly 363 includes a platen or plunger 365 which is suspended from or distally attached to an extension spring 367. The extension spring 367 can be attached or otherwise secured to an interior surface of top wall 317, and is biased to bear against plunger 36. Interior surfaces of sidewalls 324 and 326 can be grooved or otherwise tracked to guide downward descent of plunger 365 as fluid is discharged from collapsible bladder 320 through discharge port 342.
  • Discharge port 342 of collapsible bladder 320, which is selectively covered and opened by displaceable electrodynamic valve 344, connects to an outlet tube 384. The outlet tube 384 travels downward from discharge port 342 and through bottom central flange 338, between front layer 324 and rear layer 326, extends from and beyond bottom central flange 338, and through a port 385 formed in lid 318 (see FIG. 1A). If desired, a flow restrictor, valve, or shut-off can be provided on outlet tube 384 below both bottom central flange 338 and lid 318.
  • Further, if desired, an additional (optional) tube, such as fill tube 386, can be retained or clamped by bottom central flange 338 and extend through a fill tube port 387 in lid 318. A first end of fill tube 386 protrudes into fluid reservoir 330; a second end of fill tube 386 extends beyond bottom central flange 38 and through fill tube port 387.
  • As another and distinct aspect of this container technology, collapsible bladder 320 with its displaceable electrodynamic valve 344 is connected via electrical lead 355 and terminal 380 to receive valve driving signals from outside fluid container 312. For example, as explained with reference to several non-limiting examples provided below, displaceable electrodynamic valve 344 can be connected to receive valve driving signals from a host device or utility device.
  • FIG. 4A shows fluid container 312 connected to host device 390(4A). In the FIG. 4A embodiment, host device 390(4A) is of a type that receives fluid via outlet tube 384 from fluid container 312 and transmits the received fluid through host internal channel 394 for discharge to another device, e.g., a utilization device. The host device 390(4A) includes a drive circuit 392(4A) which supplies driving signals to discharge port 342 of fluid container 312 over electrical lead 355. If desired, a flowmeter or other type of sensor 396 can be positioned in host internal channel 394 and be electrically connected to drive circuit 392(4A). Such sensor 396 can be utilized by the drive circuit 392(4A) to govern application of pumping signals to displaceable electrodynamic valve 344.
  • FIG. 4B shows fluid container 312 connected to host or utilization device 390(4B). In the FIG. 4B embodiment, host or utilization device 390(4B) is more remote from fluid container 312. To cater for the more remote location, outlet tube 384 of fluid container 312 is connected by a fluidic coupler 398 to extension tube 399. A drive device such as drive circuit 392(4B) is situated distinct from host or utility device 390(4B), e.g., in a separate electronics cabinet or the like.
  • FIG. 4C shows a variation of the fluid container 312 of FIG. 1A situated in a host frame or bed 400 of a host device. The host frame 400 essentially encompasses fluid container 312 as well as the utility device 390(4C). The host frame 400 can have an unillustrated cover, as well as other internal and external features.
  • As understood from U.S. Provisional Patent Application 60/679,227, filed May 10, 2005, entitled “DISPOSABLE FLUID CONTAINER WITH INTEGRATED PUMP MOTIVE ASSEMBLY”, (incorporated herein by reference), as another and distinct aspect, usable with any or all of the embodiments described herein and other embodiments envisioned hereby, the container may include an identification or memory device for storing container information in electronic form. Contents of the identification or memory device (e.g., the container information stored in electronic form) can be accessed and utilized by a drive device or other external device via an electrical lead and/or terminal.
  • As mentioned above, the compressor can also take various forms in differing example embodiments. In another example embodiment illustrated in FIG. 5, compressor 361(5) comprises a member, similar to plunger 365 of FIG. 1A, but weighted for applying pressure to collapsible bladder 320. The weighting of compressor 361(5) can be distributed throughout the plunger, or portions thereof can be selectively weighted or embedded with weights. In the embodiment of FIG. 5, the fluid container 312 is held vertically erect so that the weighted force of compressor 361(5) can act by gravity to apply pressure to collapsible bladder 320 for expelling fluid from discharge port 342 when displaceable electrodynamic valve 344 is open.
  • In another example embodiment illustrated in FIG. 6A, the compressor comprises a chemical reactor 361(6) situated in the interior of container body 314 in a space above plunger 365. The compressor 361(6) can be connected by an ignition lead 402 or the like which receives a signal from outside of fluid container 312 as shown in FIG. 6A. Ignition applied to reactor 361(6) causes a substance contained therein to gasify and then escape through appropriate vent holes or the like in reactor 361(6), with the escaping gas applying pressure to plunger 365. Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 6B, the exterior of container body 314 may be provided with a manually or otherwise activated spark or ignition device 404. The ignition device 404 can be operative, for example, to mix two or more chemicals and thereby create a gas which applies pressure to plunger 365.
  • In the embodiments of FIG. 6A and FIG. 6B in which compressor 361(6) releases pressurized gas, the ports provided in lid 318, and lid 318 itself, should be air tight or otherwise situated so that gas from compressor 361(6) does not escape therethrough.
  • In the example embodiments already illustrated, the collapsible bladder 320 is shown as being separable from container body 314 and selectively insertable into an interior of container body 314 through an opening which can be closed by lid 318. In these illustrated and similar other such embodiments, the container body 314 can advantageously be reused with the valve-containing collapsible bladder 320. While in the previously illustrated example embodiments the collapsible bladder 320 has assumed the shape of a medical dispensing bag such as an intravenous bag, collapsible bladders of other shapes and configurations can be inserted into the interior of container body 314. Such other bags need not have, of course, any or all of the particularized features of an intravenous bag or any other specialized bag.
  • In yet other embodiments, typified by the generic embodiment illustrated in FIG. 7, both container body 314(7) and collapsible bladder 320(7) can be integrally formed, with displaceable electrodynamic valve 344(7) being integral within collapsible bladder 320(7). In the embodiment of FIG. 7, and comparable embodiments, the container body 314(7) can be molded or otherwise formed at least partially around collapsible bladder 320(7). In such case, the container body 314(7) may be provided with a bottom wall lid 318(7) rather than a lid. The embodiment of FIG. 7 may thus be sold and utilized as a single unit, and disposable upon emptying of collapsible bladder 320(7). The container body 314(7) of FIG. 7 can utilize any appropriate form of compressor including but not limited to those above described, and any appropriate form of displaceable electrodynamic valve.
  • When container body 314 is substantially rigid, a bleed valve or other comparable opening may be provided to permit collapsing of collapsible bladder 320. when a substantially rigid container body is used for an embodiment in which a compressor releases pressurized gas, the pressurized gas can be released into a separate bag or the like which bears against the plunger. In this way the pressurized gas does not escape through any bleed valve or vent hole or the like.
  • The preceding bladder-based embodiments have been described from a perspective that the collapsible bladders 320 are formed by the bonding of multi-ply or multi-layers, typically after the displaceable electrodynamic valve 344 has been positioned between films such as front layer 324 and rear layer 326, and over discharge port 342, for example. Such bonding can be by application of electromagnetic energy or heat, being careful not to deform or damage the pump motive assembly and the other components. Yet layered bonding is not the exclusive mode of manufacture, since in other modes a collapsible bladder having but one open end can be preformed to have the pump motive assembly inserted therein. In such insertion mode, sealed apertures need to be provided so that components such as outlet tube 384, fill tube 386, and electrical lead 355 can extend from inside the collapsible bladder 320 to the exterior. Appropriate sealing structure and techniques are well within the ken of the person skilled in the art. In yet other modes, an injection molding process can also incorporate the pump motive assembly as an integral part of the disposable fluid container.
  • Further, although for sake of simplicity the collapsible bladders 320 described herein have been described and illustrated as comprising only two plys of layers of film, it should be understood that a greater number of layers or plys can be utilized, and that the layers or plys may differ in composition and character.
  • In some embodiment collapsible bladder 320 is formed from flexible material. Any suitable flexible material can be utilized which collapses as fluid is withdrawn therefrom. The choice of material may depend upon field of application (with possible attendant concern for how the material interfaces with the stored fluid) as well as possible environmental concerns. Example materials include, but are not limited to, plasticized polyvinylchloride (PVC), ethylene vinylacetate, polypropylene, and copolyester ether, for example.
  • FIG. 8A and FIG. 8B illustrate a fluid storage container 312(8) according to another embodiment, and particularly an embodiment having an essentially rigid container body 314(8) which accommodates a pressurized fluid in its interior, e.g., in fluid reservoir 330(8). The container body 314(8) has a fluid discharge port 385(8) and a displaceable electrodynamic valve 344(8) for selectively opening and closing port 385(8) and thereby regulating release of the pressurized fluid from container body 314(8). Container body 314(8) has a fill port 386(8) through which the pressurized fluid may be introduced into fluid reservoir 330(8). As shown in FIG. 8A and FIG. 8B, the fill port 386(8) is closed by a stopper or a plug. As in other embodiments, container body 314(8) can take various shapes in any of its dimensions, e.g., cylindrical, rectangular, for example. The ports 385(8) and 386(8) can be located at positions on container body 314(8) other than the example positions shown.
  • The embodiment of FIG. 8A and FIG. 8B also illustrates that displaceable electrodynamic valve 344(8) may take a form other than a flapper-type valve shown in the preceding embodiments, e.g., a solenoid-type valve. Either a flapper-type valve or a solenoid-type valve can be utilized in any of the embodiments described herein and/or encompassed hereby.
  • The solenoid-type valve configuration of the displaceable electrodynamic valve 344(8) of FIG. 8A and FIG. 8B comprises an electrodynamic diaphragm 420(8) having a solenoid or other plunger 422 formed thereon or connected thereto. FIG. 8A shows the electrodynamic diaphragm 420 being actuated so that solenoid plunger 422 closes fluid discharge port 385(8). In FIG. 8A, the electrodynamic diaphragm 420 is not flexed, e.g., is relatively planar or just slightly curved, so that a distal end of solenoid plunger 422 closes fluid discharge port 385(8). The mouth of fluid discharge port 385(8) may be provided with a seal 426 or the like against which the extended solenoid plunger 422 abuts. The fluid discharge port 385(8) can be provided with an extension or fitting 428 to which a tube, hose, or other fluid-take off apparatus can be mounted or connected.
  • In the example illustrated embodiment, a portion of displaceable electrodynamic valve 344(8), e.g., electrodynamic diaphragm 420, resides in a valve housing 430. The valve housing 430 can be, for example, disc shaped, essentially concentric with fluid discharge port 385(8), and slightly elevated off the interior surface of container body 314(8) above fluid discharge port 385(8). Several pillars or posts 432 may be positioned around valve housing 430 to space valve housing 430 relative to the interior surface of container body 314(8). The electrodynamic diaphragm 420 is situated in a recess formed within valve housing 430, with solenoid plunger 422 extending from an aperture formed on an underside of the disc-shaped housing. Retainer rings or seals 434 may be employed to retain electrodynamic diaphragm 420 in position in valve housing 430. Electrical leads 355 are connected to displaceable electrodynamic valve 344(8), e.g., to electrodynamic diaphragm 420.
  • The electrodynamic diaphragm 420 utilized in the example embodiment of FIG. 8A and FIG. 8B can be a piezoelectric diaphragm and, as such, can have the multi-layered laminate piezoelectric structure described in conjunction with FIG. 3.
  • FIG. 8B shows actuation of displaceable electrodynamic valve 344(8) in a manner to open fluid discharge port 385(8) so that the pressurized fluid can escape. In the illustrated embodiment, actuation of displaceable electrodynamic valve 344(8) involves flexure of electrodynamic diaphragm 420, and thus retraction of solenoid plunger 422 to allow fluid escape as shown by broken line arrow 440 in FIG. 8B. Pressurized fluid can travel through the gaps formed by the various posts 432 before escaping through fluid discharge port 385(8).
  • Other ways of situating the displaceable electrodynamic valve 344(8) within or without of a rigid container body are also possible.
  • For any of the embodiments described herein, the displaceable electrodynamic valve utilized can take either the form of a flapper type valve (as shown, e.g., in the FIG. 1 embodiment) or a solenoid-type valve (as shown, e.g., in the embodiment of FIG. 8A and FIG. 8B). Moreover, it is also possible to employ the displaceable electrodynamic valve 344(8) of FIG. 8A and FIG. 8B in a non-rigid fluid storage container (e.g., a collapsible bladder-type container).
  • FIG. 9 illustrates an example fluid container 312(9) according to another non-limiting example embodiment. The fluid container 312(9) comprises both a container body 314(9) and a container lid 400. The container body 314(9) can be either rigid or non-rigid, and further take various shapes. Internally the container body 314(9), or a collapsible bag or the like within container body 314(9), defines a fluid reservoir 330(9). The container lid 400 has a discharge port 342(9) which is selectively opened and closed by a displaceable electrodynamic valve assembly such as the generic displaceable electrodynamic valve assembly 344(9) depicted generically in FIG. 9.
  • It should be understood that the displaceable electrodynamic valve may be provided within the neck 412(9) of the container in the manner shown in FIG. 9, or above the neck 412(10) of the container in a manner comparable to that illustrated in FIG. 10.
  • In the example, illustrated embodiment of FIG. 11, displaceable electrodynamic valve 344(11) has a first or fixed end 346(11) which is secured to an inside surface of container lid 400, and a second or cantilevered end 348(11) situated for selectively covering and uncovering discharge port 342(11). The discharge port 342(11), which can be configured, oriented, or formed in a variety of ways, may have a gasket 343(11) about its mouth on the inside of the upper surface of lid 400(11) to facilitate sealing of the valve 344(11). The displaceable electrodynamic valve 344(11) can be secured to the interior (underside) central surface of container lid 400(11) by any suitable means, such as by an adhesive, epoxy, electromagnetic welding, or fastener(s).
  • In its solid line position shown in FIG. 11, the displaceable electrodynamic valve 344(11) is actuated to a deflected position for uncovering the discharge port 342(11). In its broken line position shown in FIG. 11, the displaceable electrodynamic valve 344(11) is actuated to a non-deflected position for covering the discharge port 342(11). The displaceable electrodynamic valve 344(11) is connectable to an electrical power source via electrical lead 355(11) for actuating the displaceable electrodynamic valve 344(11) to its deflected and undeflected positions. The electrical lead 355(11) may terminate in a connector or electrical terminal 380(11).
  • It so happens that the container body 134(11) of FIG. 11 is of a type that has a narrowed, threaded neck 421(11) for defining a mouth which is covered by lid 400(11). In particular, the mouth of container body 134(11) has lid 400(11) screwed thereon by virtue of counterthreads 422 or the like formed on the interior periphery of lid 400(11). However, it should be understood that (for this and all other embodiments) the configuration of the container body mouth, or the manner of engagement of the container mouth by lid 400(11) is not limiting, but that other configurations and engagement techniques can be utilized, such as press-fit of the lid, sealing or adhering of the lid to the container mouth, or fastening of the lid to the container mouth, as a few examples.
  • As shown by FIG. 12, the fluid container 312(12) may include a collapsible bladder 320(12) or the like, as well as a compressor 360(12). The collapsible bladder 320(12), which defines the reservoir 330(12) can be inserted, retained, or sealed within container body 314(11) in various ways. In the particularly example of FIG. 12, an upper rim or edge of bladder 320(12) is engaged between the neck 412(12) of container body 314(12) and lid 400(12). The compressor 360(12) can be any suitable device for applying pressure to bladder 320(12) to expel fluid therefrom when valve 344(12) is open. Thus, although illustrated generically in FIG. 12, compressor 360(12) can be any sutiable device, including but not limited to the spring-biased, gravity-weighted, or chemically reacted types of compressors such as those previously described for other embodiments.
  • FIG. 13A and FIG. 13B illustrate an example fluid container according to another example embodiment, particularly fluid container 312(13) wherein a solenoid-type valve is attached to, carried by, or integrally formed to/within lid 400(13). The solenoid valve 344(13) of FIG. 13A-FIG. 13B, which resembles that of FIG. 13A, and FIG. 13B in operation, comprises an electrodynamic diaphragm 420(13) having a solenoid or other plunger 422(13) formed thereon or connected thereto. FIG. 13A shows the electrodynamic diaphragm 420(13) being actuated so that solenoid plunger 422 closes fluid discharge port 385(13). In FIG. 13A, the electrodynamic diaphragm 420(13) is not flexed, e.g., is relatively planar or just slightly curved, so that a distal end of solenoid plunger 422 closes fluid discharge port 385(13) of lid 400(13). The mouth of fluid discharge port 385(13) may be provided with a seal 426(13) or the like against which the extended solenoid plunger 422 abuts. The fluid discharge port 385(13) can be provided with an extension or fitting 428(13) to which a tube, hose, or other fluid-take off apparatus can be mounted or connected.
  • In the example illustrated embodiment, a portion of displaceable electrodynamic valve 344(13), e.g., electrodynamic diaphragm 420(13), resides in a valve housing 430(13). The valve housing 430(13) can be, for example, disc shaped, essentially concentric with fluid discharge port 385(13), and slightly elevated off the interior surface of lid 400(13) above fluid discharge port 385(13). Several pillars or posts 432(13) may be positioned around valve housing 430(13) to space valve housing 430(13) relative to the interior surface of lid 400(13). The electrodynamic diaphragm 420(13) is situated in a recess formed within valve housing 430, with solenoid plunger 422(13) extending from an aperture formed on an underside of the disc-shaped housing. Retainer rings or seals 434(13) may be employed to retain electrodynamic diaphragm 420(13) in position in valve housing 430. Electrical leads 355(13) are connected to displaceable electrodynamic valve 344(13), e.g., to electrodynamic diaphragm 420(13).
  • The electrodynamic diaphragm 420(13) utilized in the example embodiment of FIG. 13A and FIG. 13B can be a piezoelectric diaphragm and, as such, can have the multi-layered laminate piezoelectric structure described in conjunction with FIG. 3.
  • FIG. 13B shows actuation of displaceable electrodynamic valve 344(13) in a manner to open fluid discharge port 385(13) so that the pressurized fluid can escape. In the illustrated embodiment, actuation of displaceable electrodynamic valve 344(13) involves flexure of electrodynamic diaphragm 420(13), and thus retraction of solenoid plunger 422(13) to allow fluid escape as shown by broken line arrow 440(13) in FIG. 13B. Pressurized fluid can travel through the gaps formed by the various posts 432(13) before escaping through fluid discharge port 385(13).
  • The disposable fluid containers described in the illustrated embodiments and other embodiments encompassed hereby can be utilized in many applications and fields of endeavor. Non-limiting and non-exhaustive examples include disposable medical applications (intravenous bag, blood bag, TPN (Total Parenteral Nutrition) bags, insulin containers, medicament bag, sterile dosing applications, infusion devices), disposable consumer applications; disposable food service items (e.g., beverage) for, e.g., guaranteed compatibility or inventory control; industrial or agricultural (e.g. pesticide, insecticide, or fertilizer) delivery or dispensing of fluids.
  • Although the foregoing example embodiments primarily depict the displaceable electrodynamic valves as being piezoelectric valves, other types of displaceable electrodynamic valves can be utilized in lieu thereof. These other types of displaceable electrodynamic valves can include valves formed using electroreactive polymer(s) (EAP), electrorestrictive members, valves comprised of memory alloys or magneto-restrictive elements.
  • Although various embodiments have been shown and described in detail, the claims are not limited to any particular embodiment or example. None of the above description should be read as implying that any particular element, step, range, or function is essential such that it must be included in the claims scope. The scope of patented subject matter is defined only by the claims. The extent of legal protection is defined by the words recited in the allowed claims and their equivalents. It is to be understood that the invention is not to be limited to the disclosed embodiment, but on the contrary, is intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements.

Claims (21)

1. A fluid storage container comprising:
a collapsible bladder for accommodating a fluid, the bladder having a port;
a container body for at least partially enclosing the bladder;
a displaceable electrodynamic valve for selectively opening and closing the port and thereby regulating release of the fluid from the bladder; and
a compressor for applying pressure to the bladder to expel fluid from the bladder through the port when the valve is open.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the displaceable electrodynamic valve is a piezoelectric valve.
3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the displaceable electrodynamic valve is a valve comprised of a electroreactive polymer, a valve comprised of a electrorestrictive member, a valve comprised of a memory alloy, or a valve comprised of a magneto-restrictive element.
4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the compressor is a spring biased for applying pressure to the bladder.
5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the compressor comprises a gravity weighted member for applying pressure to the bladder.
6. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the compressor provides a chemical reaction for applying pressure to the bladder.
7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the compressor produces a gas for applying pressure to the bladder.
8. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the displaceable electrodynamic valve is configured as a flapper valve.
9. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the displaceable electrodynamic valve is configured as a solenoid valve.
10. A fluid storage container having a port and comprising:
means for defining a reservoir for accommodating a pressurizing a fluid;
a displaceable electrodynamic valve for selectively opening and closing the port and thereby regulating release of the pressurized fluid from the container.
11. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the displaceable electrodynamic valve is a piezoelectric valve.
12. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the displaceable electrodynamic valve is a valve comprised of a electroreactive polymer, a valve comprised of a electrorestrictive member, a valve comprised of a memory alloy, or a valve comprised of a magneto-restrictive element.
13. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the displaceable electrodynamic valve is configured as a flapper valve.
14. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the displaceable electrodynamic valve is configured as a solenoid valve.
15. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the container has a lid, and wherein the port is provided in the container lid.
16. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the container has an essentially rigid container body, and wherein the port is provided in the container body.
17. The apparatus of claim 10, further comprising means for pressurizing the fluid in the reservoir.
18. The apparatus of claim 10, further comprising a spring for pressurizing the fluid in the reservoir.
19. The apparatus of claim 10, further comprising a gravity weighted member for pressurizing the fluid in the reservoir.
20. The apparatus of claim 10, further comprising a compressor which provides a chemical reaction for pressurizing the fluid in the reservoir.
21. The apparatus of claim 10, further comprising a compressor which produces a gas for pressurizing the fluid in the reservoir.
US11/382,504 2005-05-10 2006-05-10 Fluid container with integrated valve Abandoned US20060255064A1 (en)

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US20060264829A1 (en) 2006-11-23
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WO2006122180A2 (en) 2006-11-16
WO2006122179A3 (en) 2007-09-27

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