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US20100307928A1 - Apparatus and method for administering a therapeutic agent into tissue - Google Patents

Apparatus and method for administering a therapeutic agent into tissue Download PDF

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Publication number
US20100307928A1
US20100307928A1 US12818664 US81866410A US2010307928A1 US 20100307928 A1 US20100307928 A1 US 20100307928A1 US 12818664 US12818664 US 12818664 US 81866410 A US81866410 A US 81866410A US 2010307928 A1 US2010307928 A1 US 2010307928A1
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Prior art keywords
ozone
oxygen
end
barrel
generator
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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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US12818664
Inventor
Ashok V. Joshi
James Steppan
Jesse Nachlas
Kieran P. Murphy
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Ceramatec Inc
Original Assignee
Joshi Ashok V
James Steppan
Jesse Nachlas
Murphy Kieran P
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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
    • A61M5/178Syringes
    • A61M5/31Details
    • A61M5/3129Syringe barrels
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B17/34Trocars; Puncturing needles
    • A61B17/3478Endoscopic needles, e.g. for infusion
    • 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
    • A61M37/00Other apparatus for introducing media into the body; Percutany, i.e. introducing medicines into the body by diffusion through the skin
    • CCHEMISTRY; METALLURGY
    • C01INORGANIC CHEMISTRY
    • C01BNON-METALLIC ELEMENTS; COMPOUNDS THEREOF; METALLOIDS OR COMPOUNDS THEREOF NOT COVERED BY SUBCLASS C01C
    • C01B13/00Oxygen; Ozone; Oxides or hydroxides in general
    • C01B13/02Preparation of oxygen
    • CCHEMISTRY; METALLURGY
    • C01INORGANIC CHEMISTRY
    • C01BNON-METALLIC ELEMENTS; COMPOUNDS THEREOF; METALLOIDS OR COMPOUNDS THEREOF NOT COVERED BY SUBCLASS C01C
    • C01B13/00Oxygen; Ozone; Oxides or hydroxides in general
    • C01B13/10Preparation of ozone
    • CCHEMISTRY; METALLURGY
    • C25ELECTROLYTIC OR ELECTROPHORETIC PROCESSES; APPARATUS THEREFOR
    • C25BELECTROLYTIC OR ELECTROPHORETIC PROCESSES FOR THE PRODUCTION OF COMPOUNDS OR NON-METALS; APPARATUS THEREFOR
    • C25B1/00Electrolytic production of inorganic compounds or non-metals
    • C25B1/13Electrolytic production of inorganic compounds or non-metals of ozone
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B17/00Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets
    • A61B17/00234Surgical instruments, devices or methods, e.g. tourniquets for minimally invasive surgery
    • A61B2017/00238Type of minimally invasive operation
    • A61B2017/00261Discectomy
    • 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
    • A61M2005/006Devices for bringing media into the body in a subcutaneous, intra-vascular or intramuscular way; Accessories therefor, e.g. filling or cleaning devices, arm-rests for gases, e.g. CO2
    • 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
    • A61M5/178Syringes
    • A61M5/31Details
    • A61M5/3129Syringe barrels
    • A61M2005/3132Syringe barrels having flow passages for injection agents at the distal end of the barrel to bypass a sealing stopper after its displacement to this end due to internal pressure increase
    • 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
    • A61M2202/00Special media to be introduced, removed or treated
    • A61M2202/02Gases
    • A61M2202/0216Ozone
    • 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
    • A61M5/178Syringes
    • A61M5/28Syringe ampoules or carpules, i.e. ampoules or carpules provided with a needle
    • A61M5/285Syringe ampoules or carpules, i.e. ampoules or carpules provided with a needle with sealing means to be broken or opened
    • A61M5/286Syringe ampoules or carpules, i.e. ampoules or carpules provided with a needle with sealing means to be broken or opened upon internal pressure increase, e.g. pierced or burst
    • 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
    • A61M5/178Syringes
    • A61M5/31Details
    • A61M5/315Pistons; Piston-rods; Guiding, blocking or restricting the movement of the rod or piston; Appliances on the rod for facilitating dosing ; Dosing mechanisms
    • A61M5/31511Piston or piston-rod constructions, e.g. connection of piston with piston-rod

Abstract

An apparatus for administering a therapeutic is provided. In various embodiments, the apparatus includes a syringe having a barrel and a plunger and having an ozone generator associated therewith. The generator is initiated and a therapeutic gas is accumulated within the barrel, at which point it can be delivered from the barrel into a target site via a needle, thereby delivering therapeutic effects to that target site.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application is a divisional of, and claims priority to, U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/193,339 entitled “Apparatus and Method for Administering a Therapeutic Agent into Tissue” and filed on Aug. 1, 2005 for Ashok Joshi, et al., which is a continuation-in-part of prior application Ser. No. 10/867,215, filed Jun. 15, 2004, and entitled “Apparatus and method for administering a therapeutic agent into tissue,” which has issued as U.S. Pat. No. 7,615,030. These applications and patents are hereby incorporated by reference.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    The present invention relates generally to an apparatus for administering a therapeutic agent into tissue and in particular, for the administration of a gaseous therapeutic agent such as an oxidizing gas or an inert gas.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    Back joint disc or tendon pain is a common and potentially debilitating ailment that affects an estimated 80% of the worldwide population at least once in a lifetime. In many instances, the cause of the pain can be attributed to a degenerated intervertebral disc that has further deteriorated into a condition known as disc herniation. This occurs when the disc nucleus pulposus extrudes through a tear or fissure in the outer lining of the disk, thereby exerting pressure on spinal nerves. The compression caused by the herniated nucleus leads to inflammation and is directly responsible for the pain felt down the leg (also referred to as sciatica). Available treatments for this type of back pain vary according to the severity of the hernia. If mild, the patient's condition can be appeased with rest and inactivity for an extended period of time. However, for patients suffering from a severe herniation or who do not respond to non-invasive treatment (pharmacological and/or physical therapy), surgical intervention is often recommended. With this invasive treatment come several disadvantages such as:
      • i) irreversibility of the procedure
      • ii) formation of scar tissue
      • iii) slower recovery time
      • iv) longer hospital stays
  • [0008]
    Since the late 1950s, many attempts have been made to treat sciatica and lower back pain with percutaneous procedures to avoid surgery. Well known treatments for example are percutaneous discetomy and chemonucleolysis but the cost of these procedures has kept researchers looking for another alternative. It was in 1984 that an Italian orthopedic surgeon by the name of Dr. Cesare Verga first proposed the use of ozone/oxygen mixtures to treat the pathology of a herniated disk. (See for example, http://www.cleanairassociation1com/6/ca3.htm, Ozone Therapy: New breakthrough for Back Treatment, by Gaetano Morello, M.D., the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.)
  • [0009]
    Other prior art references include: Percutaneous Treatment of Herniated Lumbar Disc by Intradiscal Oxygen-Ozone Injection, M. Muto and F. Avella, Interventional Neuroradiology 4:279-286, 1998.
  • [0010]
    In other situations such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or a repetitive injury through sports or occupation, such as tennis elbow, frozen shoulder, or house maids knee, inflammation can develop between the two surfaces that are involved in allowing joint function, such as a tendon and the sheath or lubricated tube in which that tendon moves. Inflammation such as bursitis in the knee shoulder hip, or other anatomic bursa may benefit from the administration of a therapeutic agent such as oxygen-ozone mixtures or excited, energetic, pure oxygen, this includes epicondylitis, and other tendonitis and bursitis, including the wrist, hand and the tendon sheaths of the hand and wrist. Inflammation can occur at a site where a tendon or a ligament insert to bone or pass through a sheath from trauma, tension, over use or disease.
  • [0011]
    Inflammation can develop through pathologies of any joint, and these may again include the inflammatory arthropatic conditions of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and the like, or osteoarthritis. Joints that may be involved in these processes that are amenable to the administration of a therapeutic agent such as oxygen-ozone mixtures or excited, energetic, pure oxygen include the synovial joints such as the, temperomandibular joint, the hip joint, knee joint, ankle joint, elbow joint or sacro-iliac joint. Vertebral facet and sacro-iliac joints may also benefit, inflammatory involvement of joints in the hand, wrist and feet with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or a repetitive injury through sports or occupational such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • [0012]
    The inflammatory and arthritic or degenerative discussions described above are usually treated with a combination of anti-inflammatory agents such as ibuprofen, or more powerful drugs such as steroids or chemotherapy such as methotrexate. It is a common medical practice to inject steroid medications or lidocaine directly into the inflamed tissue or joint. This is often done repeatedly. These drugs can be associated with side effects of infection and even death from gastric ulcer bleeding or immunosurpression and infection. We believe that ozone therapy whether with oxygen-ozone mixtures or excited, energetic, pure oxygen as a gas or dissolved in a liquid has advantages over the current practice.
  • [0013]
    Lavage of a surgical space prior to placement of a permanent surgical implant such as a hip or knee prosthesis, or pacemaker or treatment of an infected joint can be facilitated by the use of oxygen-ozone mixtures or excited, energetic, pure oxygen as a sterilizing substance. Similarly a colostomy stoma can be created such that the adhesive disk is infused with oxygen-ozone mixtures or excited, energetic, pure oxygen as a gas or dissolved in a liquid to aid in healing and inhibit infection. The post surgical recovery from sternotomy after cardiac surgery is often complicated by wound infection. Placement of a resorbable catheter in the wound that could be irrigated with oxygen-ozone mixtures or excited, energetic, pure oxygen as a gas or dissolved in a liquid would aid healing. Indeed any wound could have a resorbable multisided hole catheter placed in it to allow oxygen-ozone mixtures or excited, energetic, pure oxygen to be injected through it. This would have anti-infective, analgesic, and wound-healing properties thereby shortening recovery time and decreasing complication rates after surgery.
  • [0014]
    Oxygen-ozone mixtures or excited, energetic, pure oxygen as a gas or dissolved in a liquid could be applied to the wound/surgical site healing at a site of high probability of infection such an abdominal incision/wound after appendectomy, or urgent colectomy with colostomy or after percutaneous endoscopic cholecystectomy.
  • [0015]
    Endoscopic procedural infusion of ozone and trans catheter infusion of ozone can be used to inhibit the complications endoscopic medical intervention or image guided or non-image guided catheter based intervention for example in endoscopic evaluation of the pancreatic duct.
  • [0016]
    Dental injection of oxygen-ozone mixtures or excited, energetic, pure oxygen as a gas or dissolved in a liquid may augment the preparation and repair of dental cavities, and aid in reduction of root canal inflammation or periodontal disease.
  • [0017]
    There are veterinary applications of minimally invasive administration of oxygen-ozone mixtures or excited, energetic, pure oxygen as a gas or dissolved in a liquid in animals diseased with disc and degenerative syndromes. Few other options are available in that arena. Some animals are destroyed due to debilitating pain secondary to pain from disc disease, and arthritis.
  • [0018]
    While the full therapeutic potential of oxygen-ozone mixtures or excited, energetic, pure oxygen continues to unfold with ongoing research, it is already clear that this form of therapy for the treatment of disc herniation has significant advantages over other surgical and percutaneous procedures. Some of these advantages include:
      • fewer clinical and neuroradiological contraindications
      • success rates greater than about 70% in the intervertebral disc
      • little or no recovery time
      • little or no side effects
      • little or no scar tissue formed
      • minimally invasive procedure
      • effective alternative treatment for which response to conservative management, such as rest and reduced daily activity, has failed to treat
  • [0026]
    As the success of ozone gas therapy continues to gain recognition in the medical arena as a non-invasive alternative for the treatment of disc herniation, current methods of administering an effective dose of the ozone are solely as a gas and are far from optimum. For example, SPM Recovery Technologies Ltd. (http://www.spm.co.i1); U.S. Pat. No. 6,073,627; and an article from American Health Magazine (January 1988, p. 16), all disclose equipment for treatment of wounds with ozone. However, these equipment are often bulky, cumbersome, power intensive, difficult to maintain, clean, calibrate, and very costly. These equipment also lack a sterile methodology through which the ozone can be delivered selectively to the pain-affected area, i.e. the herniated disk. The gas is unstable with a half life measured in minutes. There are no dedicated medical ozone generators that are disposable, single-use units. Thus, there is a need for equipment specifically designed for the treatment of disc herniation and other medical conditions affecting the body with oxygen-ozone mixtures or excited, energetic, pure oxygen so that it can be done in an efficient and sterile manner. There is a need to develop kits for intervention in inflammatory and degenerative disease, that are portable, disposable, or reusable, but aid in creating sterile, stable, ozone rapidly on demand.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0027]
    It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a novel apparatus and method for administering a gas into a tissue that obviates or mitigates at least one of the disadvantages of the prior art.
  • [0028]
    An aspect of the invention provides a syringe comprising a barrel and a plunger for insertion into a first end of the barrel and delivering the agent from a second end of the barrel. The syringe also comprises a generator attached to one of the plunger and the barrel, the generator for producing a therapeutic agent. The syringe also includes an accumulator within the barrel having an accumulation configuration in communication with the generator for accumulating the agent. The accumulator has a delivery configuration placing the accumulator in communication with the second end. The accumulator is automatically changeable from the accumulation configuration to the delivery configuration when a desired level of agent has been generated in the accumulator such that the agent can be delivered from the second end of the barrel.
  • [0029]
    The gaseous therapeutic agent can be an oxidizing gas or an inert gas or combinations thereof.
  • [0030]
    An oxidizing gas which can include oxygen (O2); a mixture containing oxygen plus ozone (O3); oxygen radicals; hydroxyl radicals; ionic oxygen; oxygen treated with energy; and/or combinations any of the foregoing.
  • [0031]
    Inert gases can include, but are not limited to, nitrogen, helium, carbon dioxide, and/or combinations thereof.
  • [0032]
    The generator can be a corona discharge device, and in which case the accumulator can be an interior space within the barrel containing oxygen. The plunger can thus include a dc power source (such as a battery) and electronics to generate and deliver the high-voltage, high-frequency ac electrical signal to the generator. A frequency of the signal can be between about one tenth of a kilohertz (“kHz”) and about one thousand kHz; or between about twenty kHz and about sixty kHz. The voltage of the electrical signal can be between about one kilovolt and about twenty kilovolts; or a voltage of the electrical signal can be between about three kilovolts and about six kilovolts. The ambient temperature of the oxygen can be between about fifteen ° C. and about thirty ° C.; or the ambient temperature of the oxygen can be between about twenty ° C. and about twenty-five ° C.
  • [0033]
    The generator can be an ultraviolet (“UV”) light source, and in which case the accumulator can be an interior space within the barrel containing oxygen. The plunger can thus include a dc power source (such as a battery) and electronics to generate and deliver the signal to the UV light source. The wavelength of the light source can be between about 100 nm and about 700 nm; or between about 140 nm and about 200 nm.
  • [0034]
    In other aspects, the generator can be an open vessel for storing an ozonated gel and a heating element, such that activation of the heating element elevates a temperature of the gel causing desorption of ozone-oxygen mixture from the gel. The gel can be formed by sparging ozone through olive oil and then chilling the olive oil. The olive oil is chilled to a temperature of between about minus fifteen ° C. and about ten ° C.
  • [0035]
    Another aspect of the invention provides a generator for producing therapeutic oxygen-ozone mixtures, the generator comprising an attachment point for affixing the generator to one of a plunger and a barrel. The barrel has a first end for receiving the plunger and a second end for delivering the oxygen-ozone mixture therefrom upon depression of the plunger. The generator communicates with an accumulator disposed within the barrel. In an accumulation configuration, the oxygen-ozone mixture accumulates inside the accumulator. The accumulator also has a delivery configuration placing the accumulator in communication with the second end of the barrel. The accumulator is automatically changeable from the accumulation configuration to the delivery configuration when a desired level of agent has been generated in the accumulator such that the agent can be delivered from the second end.
  • [0036]
    The generator can comprise a vessel for housing an ozonated gel and a heating element for increasing a temperature of the gel to cause desorption of an oxygen-ozone mixture therefrom.
  • [0037]
    The generator can comprise an electrical chemical cell.
  • [0038]
    The generator can comprise a corona discharge device.
  • [0039]
    The generator can comprise an ultraviolet light source.
  • [0040]
    Aspects of the invention also include methods for generating therapeutic agents using the apparatuses taught herein, and methods of administering a therapeutic agents using the apparatuses taught herein.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0041]
    The present invention will now be explained, by way of example only, with reference to certain embodiments and the attached figures in which:
  • [0042]
    FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an apparatus for administering a therapeutic agent in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;
  • [0043]
    FIG. 2 is a side-sectional view of the apparatus of FIG. 1 in the accumulation configuration;
  • [0044]
    FIG. 3 is a sectional view through lines III-III of FIG. 2 showing the porous membrane in accordance with an embodiment of the invention;
  • [0045]
    FIG. 4 is a side-sectional view of the apparatus of FIG. 2 in the accumulation configuration showing expansion of the accumulator;
  • [0046]
    FIG. 5 is a side-sectional view of the apparatus of FIG. 4 in the accumulation configuration showing further expansion of the accumulator;
  • [0047]
    FIG. 6 is a side-sectional view of the apparatus of FIG. 5 in the delivery configuration;
  • [0048]
    FIG. 7 shows a graph for release of ozone gas when one gram of ozonated olive oil is heated to 37° C.;
  • [0049]
    FIG. 8 is a perspective view of an apparatus for administering a therapeutic agent in accordance with another embodiment of the invention;
  • [0050]
    FIG. 9 is a side-sectional view of the apparatus of FIG. 8 in the accumulation configuration;
  • [0051]
    FIG. 10 is a side-sectional view of the apparatus of FIG. 9 in the delivery configuration;
  • [0052]
    FIG. 11 is a side-sectional view of the apparatus of FIG. 10 in the delivery configuration showing depression of the plunger;
  • [0053]
    FIG. 12 is a side-sectional view of an apparatus for administering a therapeutic agent in accordance with another embodiment of the invention; and,
  • [0054]
    FIG. 13 is a side-sectional view of an apparatus for administering a therapeutic agent in accordance with another embodiment of the invention.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION
  • [0055]
    Referring to FIG. 1, an embodiment of the invention includes an apparatus for administering a therapeutic agent indicated generally at 20. Apparatus 20 includes a needle 24 that attaches to a syringe 28 comprising a hollow barrel 32 for inserting a plunger 36.
  • [0056]
    A therapeutic agent within barrel 32 can be delivered through needle 24 by depressing plunger 36. Needle 24 is of any desired material, length or gauge that may be desired according to the therapeutic agent being delivered. In a present embodiment, the therapeutic agent is an oxygen-ozone mixture, the details of which will be discussed in greater detail below. In a present embodiment, where syringe 28 is delivering an oxygen-ozone mixture into a herniated disc, then needle 24 can be a Chiba needle or Franceen needle or other suitable needle as will occur to those of skill in the art.
  • [0057]
    Barrel 32 is made from any suitable material that is substantially rigid and substantially inert when exposed to ozone, such as glass, stainless steel, polycarbonate, high density polyethylene, chlorinated polyvinylchloride, silicone, ethylene-propylene terpolymer, and fluoropolymer materials, such as polytetrafluoroethylene, fluorinated ethylene-propylene, etc. Barrel 32 is substantially cylindrical and characterized by a first end 40 and a second end 44 opposite first end 40. First end 40 is characterized by an opening 48 for receiving plunger 36 therein. Second end 44 is characterized by a cylindrical tip 52 projecting externally from second end 44 and having an outlet 56 with a diameter smaller than opening 48 of first end 40 through which the oxygen-ozone mixture can be delivered. Tip 52 presents a fitting to which needle 24 can attach.
  • [0058]
    Barrel 32 also includes a pair of piercing members 60 rigidly affixed to second end 44 and projecting internally towards first end 40 of barrel 32. Piercing members 60 are substantially rigid and present a sharp surface for puncturing or piercing a balloon or like expandable, elastic enclosure—as will be explained in greater detail below. It is to be understood, however, that in other embodiments one or more piercing members 60 can be mounted at any location on the interior surface of barrel 32, such as at any suitable location along the interior side wall of barrel 32, and can project internally towards the opposite interior side wall.
  • [0059]
    Plunger 36 is also made from any suitable material that is substantially inert when exposed to ozone, such as those materials previously mentioned in relation to barrel 32. Plunger 36 is substantially cylindrical for coaxial insertion within barrel 32, and is characterized by a first end 64 and a second end 68 opposite first end 64, wherein second end 68 is configured for insertion into opening 48 of barrel 32. First end 64 is characterized by a thumb-actuator 72 for depression by a surgeon or other medical professional. In a present embodiment, actuator 72 includes an on-off switch 76 mounted at its centre. It is to be understood, however, that in other embodiments switch 76 can be mounted at any location on the surface of actuator 72, such as at the periphery of actuator 72; at any location on the surface of barrel 32; or at any location outside of but connected to syringe 28. Switch 76 can be toggled between “on” and “off” positions.
  • [0060]
    A shaft 80 projects from actuator 72 towards second end 68. Shaft 80 is characterized by a cross-shaped cross-section, to which a power supply 84 is coaxially mounted. In a present embodiment, power supply 84 is positioned adjacent to actuator 72 between first end 64 and second end 68, and includes two batteries each mounted in parallel with shaft 80 and adjacent to one another between the cross-pieces of shaft 80. Power supply 84 is connected to switch 76 and a generator 88 by electrical wires, such that when switch 76 is in the “on” position current is delivered to generator 88, and when switch 76 is in the “off” position, no current is delivered to generator 88. Power supply 84 is presently preferred to supply an electric current with a voltage between about one volt and about thirty volts, and a more presently preferred voltage between about five volts and about ten volts.
  • [0061]
    Generator 88 is mounted to shaft 80 at second end 68. The generator includes electronics to generate and deliver the high-voltage, high-frequency ac electrical signal for producing oxygen-ozone mixtures or excited, energetic, pure oxygen. Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, in a present embodiment, generator 88 comprises an open vessel 92 for storing an ozonated gel 96, and a porous membrane 100 covering an open end of vessel 92, the details of which will be explained in greater detail below. Generator 88 also includes a heating element 104 that surrounds the periphery of vessel 92. Element 104 is connected to power supply 84 via switch 76, such that when switch 76 is “on” heating element 104 causes vessel 92 and its contents to increase in temperature.
  • [0062]
    Gel 96 is made from triacylglycerols or triglycerides which are a mixture of fatty acids such as oleic acid, linoleic acid, and linolenic acid attached to a glycerol backbone; or any combination of fatty acids of the general formula, CH3(CH2)nCOOH where n is typically an even number between about twelve and about twenty-two attached to a glycerol backbone, presently preferred to be olive oil [CAS No. 8001-25-0], that can dissolve ozone within gel 96.
  • [0063]
    The ratio of ozone to olive oil can be delivered in terms of X milligrams of ozone to about one gram of oil, i.e.
  • [0000]
    X mg ozone 1 g olive oil
  • [0000]
    X can thus be between about 0.5 and about 1.5; more preferably X can be about 0.7 to about 1.2; more preferably X can be about one.
  • [0064]
    When gel 96 is heated, a gaseous ozone mixture is created whereby ozone gas is released into the surrounding air. The resulting ozone mixture can be delivered as a ratio in terms of Y micrograms of ozone to about one cubic centimeters of oxygen, i.e.
  • [0000]
    Y μg ozone 1 cc oxygen
  • [0000]
    Y can be from about five to about one-hundred; more preferably Y can be from about twelve to about forty; more preferably Y can be about twenty.
  • [0065]
    Gel 96 can be made by sparging the oxygen-ozone mixture, in gaseous form, through the olive oil until the olive oil becomes gelatinous and suitable for refrigeration. Refrigeration temperatures are between about zero ° C. to about five ° C. Gel 96 can be stored at the refrigerated temperature until use. Once in a refrigerated state, gel 96 can be loaded into vessel 92 of generator 88.
  • [0066]
    An oxygen-ozone mixture can be released from gel 96 upon heating vessel 92, using element 104, to a temperature presently preferred. In the present embodiment, generator 88 is configured to heat the ozonated olive oil to between about twenty ° C. and about eighty ° C.; more preferably between about thirty ° C. and about fifty ° C.; more preferably to about thirty-seven ° C.
  • [0067]
    Vessel 92 is closed at the end of generator 88 proximal to actuator 72, and is open at the opposite end. The open end of vessel 92 is covered by porous membrane 100, such that generator 88 can communicate with an accumulator 108 attached to second end 68 of plunger 36.
  • [0068]
    As mentioned above, accumulator 108 is attached to plunger 36 at second end 68, and communicates with generator 88 through membrane 100. In a present embodiment, accumulator 108 is a resiliently deformable balloon, also made from any suitable expandable material that is substantially inert when exposed to ozone, such as those materials previously mentioned in relation to barrel 32. Accumulator 108 has an accumulation configuration wherein accumulator 108 can be expanded from a non-expanded state (as shown in FIG. 1) to an expanded state (as shown in dotted lines in FIG. 1). In addition, accumulator 108 has a delivery configuration wherein accumulator 108 is pierced to allow delivery of its contents out from accumulator 108 and into direct contact with the interior of barrel 32, the details of which will be explained in greater detail below. In FIGS. 1 and 2, switch 76 is shown in the “off” position, and accumulator 108 is shown in an accumulation configuration. With switch 76 in the “off” position, there is substantially no ozone mixture being generated by generator 88, and substantially no ozone mixture being accumulated in accumulator 108. Accumulator 108 is shown in a substantially non-expanded state.
  • [0069]
    Referring now to FIG. 3, membrane 100 is shown in greater detail, which is derived from a sectional view through the dotted line labelled as III-III in FIG. 2 of syringe 28. Membrane 100 is disposed between generator 88 and accumulator 108, and includes substantially circular pores 112 which allow the ozone mixture that is generated by generator 88 to move from generator 88 through membrane 100 and into accumulator 108, while retaining the remaining gel 96 within generator 88. The diameter of pores 112 in FIG. 2 is merely for illustration purposes and is not to scale, but rather intended to denote that the ozone mixture can pass through such pores while leaving gel 96 within vessel 92. In a present embodiment, membrane 100 is made from porous ceramic or glass that is gas permeable, but not liquid permeable. It should be understood, however, that in certain embodiments, membrane 100 can be omitted altogether.
  • [0070]
    In operation, apparatus 20 is removed from refrigeration just prior to use. Plunger 36 is received within opening 48 of barrel 32, and needle 24 is attached to tip 52 of barrel 32. Referring now to FIG. 4, switch 76 is moved to the “on” position and an electric current is produced by power supply 84. Power supply 84 provides the electric current through electrical wires to activate heating element 104. Upon activation, heating element 104 heats vessel 92 of generator 88, which in turn heats gel 96 to a temperature as noted above, but presently more preferred to be about 37° C. Such heating results in generation of an ozone mixture that is released from gel 96. As the ozone mixture is released from gel 96, the ozone mixture travels towards the open end of vessel 92 and membrane 100. The ozone mixture travels through pores 112 of membrane 100 and into accumulator 108, while gel 96 remains in vessel 92. Accumulator 108 becomes filled with the ozone mixture and expands from a non-expanded state to an expanded state.
  • [0071]
    Referring to FIG. 5, as switch 76 remains in the “on” position and the ozone mixture continues to accumulate within accumulator 108, accumulator 108 continues to expand towards second end 44 of barrel 32 and comes into contact with piercing members 60.
  • [0072]
    Referring to FIG. 6, as switch 76 remains in the “on” position and accumulator 108 continues to expand towards second end 44 of barrel 32 and into piercing members 60, accumulator 108 is pierced by piercing members 60 and moves into a delivery configuration. The oxygen-ozone mixture is released out from accumulator 108 and into the interior of barrel 32.
  • [0073]
    Once barrel 32 is filled with the oxygen-ozone mixture, switch 76 can be moved to the “off” position, and apparatus 20 positioned for use for the delivery of the ozone mixture to a patient. Needle 24 can be inserted into a patient's tissue (such as into a disk herniation, or other target area) where the oxygen-ozone mixture is to be administered. Having inserted needle 24 into the target area, actuator 72 is depressed towards second end 44 of barrel 32, and the oxygen-ozone mixture is delivered from barrel 32, through outlet 56 and needle 24, and into the target area. The graph of FIG. 7 illustrates an example where a gel suitable for use as gel 96 was heated to release an oxygen-ozone mixture over time. In this example, a plurality of one gram samples of ozonated olive oil gels, each of varying ages, are added to one-hundred ml of indigo reagent (i.e. 0.6 g/L potassium indigo trisulfonate in 20 mM phosphoric acid) solution and heated to a temperature of about 21.5° C. The weight of ozone in mg/gram olive oil is delivered as a function of time. After about seven and a half hours at a temperature of about 21.5° C., about 0.95 mg/gram olive oil of ozone was released from the older gel (about six months old), and about 0.85 mg/gram olive oil of ozone was released from the younger gel (about twenty-four days old).
  • [0074]
    As will become apparent from the teachings herein, generator 88 is simply one example of a generator that can be used in accordance with the present invention. Indeed the teachings herein can be applicable to any generator for producing an oxygen-ozone mixture.
  • [0075]
    A variation of generator 88 includes an electrochemical cell ozone generator, comprising an anode, a cathode, a cationic membrane and an electrolyte. An oxygen-ozone mixture can be released from the electrochemical cell through the electrolysis of water and the production of ozone and oxygen at the anode, at an electric current with a presently preferred voltage between about three volts and about twenty volts and a more presently preferred voltage between about two volts and about ten volts; and at a presently preferred temperature between about five ° C. and about fifty ° C., and a more presently preferred temperature between about fifteen ° C. and about thirty ° C.
  • [0076]
    A modified version of apparatus 20 is illustrated in FIGS. 8-11, which is indicated generally at 20 a. Apparatus 20 a includes many of the same elements as apparatus 20, and like elements in apparatus 20 a bear the same reference as their counterparts in apparatus 20, except that they are followed with the suffix “a”.
  • [0077]
    Of notable exception, however, is that apparatus 20 a does not include a balloon accumulator in communication with generator 88 a; and also does not include piercing members in barrel 32 a. In addition, and as will be explained in more detail below, the interior 116 a of barrel 32 a is of a different configuration than the interior of barrel 32, in that interior 116 a comprises a second end 120 a that is disposed at a position within barrel 32 a that is different from that of second end 44 a of barrel 32 a. In further contrast to apparatus 20, apparatus 20 a also includes a moveable stopper 124 a, that is movable within interior 116 a. Apparatus 20 a also includes an outport channel 128 a and an air vent 132 a disposed within barrel 32 a. Furthermore, generator 88 a of the present embodiment is of a different configuration than generator 88 of apparatus 20, (although in other embodiments need not be different) in that generator 88 a does not include a heating element, gel, membrane or vessel. Generator 88 a is selected from one of a corona discharge device, an electrochemical cell ozone generator, and an ultraviolet light source or combination thereof.
  • [0078]
    Referring now to FIG. 8, interior 116 a is coaxially disposed within barrel 32 a from first end 40 a towards second end 44 a of barrel 32 a. Interior 116 a is substantially cylindrical and is characterized by second end 120 a being disposed at a position between first end 40 a and second end 44 a of barrel 32 a. Second end 120 a is proximal to second end 44 a of barrel 32 a.
  • [0079]
    A moveable stopper 124 a is disposed within interior 116 a. Stopper 124 a is resiliently deformable, is made from any suitable material such was suggested for plunger 36, is substantially disc-shaped, having an exterior diameter slightly larger than the interior diameter of interior 116 a, much in the same manner a traditional plunger tip is complementary to the interior of a traditional syringe barrel. Stopper 124 a forms a substantially air-tight seal with the adjacent inner wall of interior 116 a, and is moveable from a position proximal to first end 40 a of barrel 32 a towards a position proximal to second end 120 a of interior 116 a. In addition, stopper 124 a divides interior 116 a into a first chamber 136 a and a second chamber 140 a.
  • [0080]
    First chamber 136 a is defined by the space between stopper 124 a and second end 68 a of plunger 36 a received within interior 116 a. Second chamber 140 a is defined by the space between stopper 124 a and second end 120 a of interior 116 a. First chamber 136 a can communicate with generator 88 a through a nozzle at second end 68 a of plunger 36 a. According to the movement of plunger 124 a, first chamber 136 a has an accumulation configuration wherein first chamber 136 a can be expanded along the length of interior 116 a, and second chamber 140 a can be contracted correspondingly. When first chamber 136 a is in the accumulation configuration, only second chamber 140 a can communicate with outport channel 128 a attached to the side wall of interior 116 a proximal to second end 120 a of interior 116 a. In addition, first chamber 136 a has a delivery configuration wherein stopper 124 a is positioned at or proximal to second end 120 a of interior 116 a to allow communication between first chamber 136 a and outport channel 128 a.
  • [0081]
    Outport channel 128 a includes an inlet 144 a and an outlet 148 a connected by a passageway 152 a disposed within barrel 32 a. Inlet 144 a of channel 128 a is disposed at the sidewall of interior 116 a at a position between first end 40 a of barrel 32 a and second end 120 a of interior 116 a, and proximal to second end 120 a of interior 116 a. Outlet 148 a of channel 128 a is disposed within tip 52 a. Passageway 152 a is substantially hollow and tubular in configuration, and extends from inlet 144 a along the sidewall of barrel 32 a towards second end 44 a and across the base of barrel 32 a at second end 44 a towards tip 52 a to outlet 148 a. An air vent 132 a includes an inlet (shown, but not marked in the figures) and an outlet (shown, but not marked in the figures) connected by a passageway disposed within barrel 32 a. The inlet of air vent 132 a is disposed at the base of interior 116 a at second end 120 a. The outlet of air vent 132 a is disposed at the sidewall of barrel 32 a at a position between second end 120 a of interior 116 a and second end 44 a of barrel 32 a. The passageway of air vent 132 a is substantially hollow and tubular in configuration, and extends from the inlet of air vent 132 a through the base of barrel 32 a towards second end 44 a and across the base of barrel 32 a at second end 44 a to the outlet of air vent 132 a.
  • [0082]
    In operation, plunger 36 a is received within opening 48 a of barrel 32 a, and needle 24 a is attached to tip 52 a of barrel 32 a. Referring to FIG. 9, operation begins with first chamber 136 a in an accumulation configuration and stopper 124 a positioned between first end 40 a of barrel 32 a and outport channel 128 a such that only second chamber 140 a can communicate with outport channel 128 a. Switch 76 a is moved to the “on” position and an electric current is produced by power supply 84 a. Power supply 84 a provides the electric current through electrical wires to activate generator 88 a. Upon activation, generator 88 a generates an oxygen-ozone mixture that is released through the nozzle of plunger 36 a at second end 68 a and into first chamber 136 a of interior 116 a of barrel 32 a. Referring to FIG. 10, when first chamber 136 a is filled with the accumulating oxygen-ozone mixture generated from generator 88 a, stopper 124 a is urged towards second end 120 a by the force of the accumulating oxygen-ozone mixture in first chamber 136 a. As stopper 124 a is urged towards second end 120 a of interior 116 a by the accumulating oxygen-ozone mixture, and first chamber 136 a is expanded, second chamber 140 a contracts correspondingly along the length of interior 116 a. As second chamber 140 a is contracted, the air within second chamber 140 a is urged out through air vent 132 a. As switch 76 a remains in the “on” position and stopper 124 a continues to be urged to second end 120 a of interior 116 a, first chamber 136 a moves from an accumulation configuration into a delivery configuration (as shown in FIG. 10), whereby first chamber 136 a can communicate with outport channel 128 a.
  • [0083]
    Referring now to FIG. 11, once first chamber 136 a is in the delivery configuration and is filled with the oxygen-ozone mixture, switch 76 a can be moved to the “off” position, and apparatus 20 a positioned for use for the delivery of the oxygen-ozone mixture to a patient. Needle 24 a can be inserted into a patient's tissue (such as into a disk herniation, or other target area) where the oxygen-ozone mixture is to be administered. Having inserted needle 24 a into the target area, actuator 72 a of plunger 36 a is depressed towards second end 120 a of interior 116 a of barrel 32 a, and the oxygen-ozone mixture is delivered out from first chamber 136 a, through outport channel 128 a and needle 24 a, and into the target area.
  • [0084]
    A modified version of apparatus 20 a is illustrated at FIG. 12, which is indicated generally at 20 b. Apparatus 20 b includes the same elements as apparatus 20 a, bearing the same reference as their counterparts in apparatus 20 a, except that they are followed with the suffix “b”. Of notable exception, however, is that generator 88 b of apparatus 20 b is attached to the exterior surface of barrel 32 b of syringe 28 b, in contrast to generator 88 a of apparatus 20 a which is attached to plunger 36 a.
  • [0085]
    Another modified version of apparatus 20 a is illustrated at FIG. 13, which is indicated generally at 20 c. A variation of generator 88 includes a corona discharge device 88 c comprising a dielectric 87 c, and an electrode 89 c. Device 88 c can be used to produce an oxidizing gas. For example, device 88 c can be for exposure to an oxygen-containing gas within interior 116 c of barrel 32 c. The gas can be pure oxygen gas. For example, an oxygen-ozone mixture can be released from the corona discharge device 88 c by passing the oxygen-containing gas through an electrical field originating from device 88 c at a presently preferred frequency between about one-tenth kilohertz (“kHz”) and about one thousand kHz, at a more presently preferred frequency between about twenty kHz and about sixty kHz; at an electric current with a presently preferred voltage between about one kilovolt and about twenty kilovolts and a more presently preferred voltage between about three kilovolts and about six kilovolts; and at a presently preferred temperature between about fifteen ° C. and about thirty ° C., and a more presently preferred temperature between about twenty ° C. and about twenty-five ° C. The electrical power according to the aforementioned parameters of frequency and voltage (or otherwise desirable parameters) is delivered by a power supply 84 c that is so configured to generate an electrical signal for device 88 c according to those parameters. Power supply 84 c can be activated and deactivated using switch 76 c.
  • [0086]
    In use, apparatus 20 c is in the position shown in FIG. 13. Next, switch 76 c is activated thereby causing device 88 c to emit a field that interacts with the oxygen in interior 116 a, and thereby create ozone. Once the ozone generation cycle is complete, plunger 36 c is depressed to deliver ozone from the end of barrel 32 c. Of note, in the present embodiment the stroke of plunger 36 c is chosen so that, when fully depressed, device 88 c may come into close proximity of the distal end of barrel 32 c, but without actually coming into contact therewith.
  • [0087]
    It should be understood that the configuration of device 88 c is merely exemplary and other configurations of a corona discharge device are contemplated.
  • [0088]
    While only specific combinations of the various features and components of the present invention have been discussed herein, it will be apparent to those of skill in the art that desired subsets of the disclosed features and components and/or alternative combinations of these features and components can be utilized, as desired. For example, other types of pain can be treated using the teachings herein. For example, joints, tendons, ligaments are other areas that can be treated. Another example includes irrigating a wound site, such as a colostomy, with the therapeutic agent to reduce pain at the wound site. An another example is to irrigate a subcutaneous pouch for holding a pacemaker or the like for sterilization and/or treatment of pain and/or decrease of inflammation and such other advantage corresponding to the therapeutic agent as will occur to those of skill in the art. Furthermore, it is to be understood that the therapeutic agent can include any suitable oxygen-ozone mixture or any other suitable therapeutic agent known to those of skill in the art. Furthermore, it should be understood that the apparatus of the present invention can be in any desired size or shape or configuration. In addition, certain embodiments of the apparatus also include a plunger and a hollow barrel for slidably receiving the plunger. It should be understood that the plunger and the barrel of the apparatus can be of any desired complementary size or shape. It should also be apparent that components of embodiments herein can be combined. For example, either plunger 36 or plunger 36 a can be used with any one of barrel 32 and barrel 32 a.
  • [0089]
    Furthermore, it is to be understood that the generator of the present invention can be in any desired size, shape or form. For example, in the embodiments discussed above, the generator included one of a generator comprising an ozonated gel, (e.g. generator 88), a corona discharge device, an electrochemical cell, an ultraviolet light source. However, in other embodiments, the generator can be any suitable generator for producing a desired gaseous therapeutic agent.
  • [0090]
    The gaseous therapeutic agent can be an oxidizing gas or an inert gas or combinations thereof.
  • [0091]
    An oxidizing gas which can include oxygen (O2); a mixture containing oxygen plus ozone (O3); oxygen radicals; hydroxyl radicals; ionic oxygen; oxygen treated with energy; and/or combinations any of the foregoing.
  • [0092]
    Inert gases can include, but are not limited to, nitrogen, helium, carbon dioxide, and/or combinations thereof.
  • [0093]
    Furthermore, it is to be understood that the generator can be disposed at any suitable position relative to the syringe of the apparatus. For example, the generator can be disposed at any suitable location within the syringe of the apparatus, such as at any location between the first end and the second end of the plunger, or at any location between the first end and the second end of the interior of the barrel. In addition, the generator can also be disposed at any suitable location on the exterior surface of the syringe (as shown in FIG. 12), or at a location outside the syringe where the generator is unattached to but connected to the syringe.
  • [0094]
    Furthermore, it is to be understood that the accumulator of certain embodiments, and the first chamber of certain other embodiments of the present invention as discussed above, can be of any desired size, shape or form. For example, in the embodiments discussed above, the accumulator included a resiliently deformable balloon. However, in other embodiments, the accumulator can be any bag, container, vessel, chamber or the like that is movable from an accumulation configuration to a delivery configuration. In addition, the first chamber of the present invention can be in any configuration wherein the first chamber is movable from an accumulation configuration to a delivery configuration. Furthermore, it is to be understood that the power supply of the present invention can be in any desired size, shape or form. For example, in the embodiments discussed above, the power supply included two batteries each mounted in parallel with the shaft of the plunger, adjacent to one another between the cross-pieces of the shaft, and positioned adjacent to the actuator between the first end and the second end of the plunger. However, in other embodiments, the power supply can include one or more batteries mounted in any suitable configuration and at any suitable location between the first end and the second end of the plunger; between the first end and the second end of the barrel, on the exterior surface of the syringe. Alternatively, the power supply can actually be external to the syringe, and connectable to the syringe at the time of ozone generation. By the same token, both the heating element and power supply can be omitted in lieu of providing a syringe capable of having heat applied to the ozone generator through an external heat source in order to generate the oxygen-ozone mixture.
  • [0095]
    Furthermore, it is to be understood that the outport channel of certain embodiments of the present invention can be of any desired size, shape or form. For example, the inlet of the outport channel can be disposed at any suitable location between the first end and the second end of the interior of the barrel. In addition, the passageway of the outport channel can include portions that extend along the outside of the sidewall of the barrel, and/or portions that extend within the sidewall of the barrel.
  • [0096]
    Furthermore, it is to be understood that the air vent of certain embodiments of the present invention can be of any desired size, shape or form. For example, the inlet of the air vent can be disposed at any suitable location on the base of the interior of the barrel at the second end of the barrel, or at any suitable location on the interior side wall of the barrel between the stopper and the second end of the barrel. In addition, the outlet of the air vent can be disposed at any suitable location on the sidewall of the barrel between the first end and the second end of the barrel; at the base of the barrel at the second end of the barrel; or at the tip of the barrel.
  • [0097]
    The above-described embodiments of the invention are intended to be examples of the present invention and alterations and modifications may be effected thereto, by those of skill in the art, without departing from the scope of the invention which is defined solely by the claims appended hereto.

Claims (25)

  1. 1. A method of producing a gaseous therapeutic agent comprising:
    placing an accumulator within a barrel of a syringe into an accumulation configuration;
    generating said therapeutic agent;
    filling said accumulator with said therapeutic agent; and,
    automatically changing said accumulator into a delivery configuration from said accumulation configuration when a desired level of said agent has been generated.
  2. 2. The method of claim 1, wherein said therapeutic agent comprises an oxygen-ozone mixture.
  3. 3. The method of claim 2, wherein generating said therapeutic agent comprises providing an ozone generator for generating the oxygen-ozone mixture and a power source electronically coupled to the ozone generator.
  4. 4. The method of claim 3, wherein the ozone generator is configured to communicate with the accumulator.
  5. 5. The method of claim 4, wherein generating said therapeutic agent comprises:
    delivering an electrical signal from the power source to the accumulator; and
    passing an oxygen containing gas through an electrical field such that the oxygen interacts with the electrical field to create the oxygen-ozone mixture.
  6. 6. The method of claim 5, wherein the ozone generator comprises a corona discharge device.
  7. 7. The method of claim 6, wherein the corona discharge device comprises a dielectric and an electrode.
  8. 8. The method of claim 5, wherein the frequency of said electrical signal is between about one tenth of a kilohertz and about one thousand kilohertz.
  9. 9. The method of claim 8, wherein the frequency of said electrical signal is between about twenty kilohertz and about sixty kilohertz.
  10. 10. The method of claim 5, wherein the voltage of said electrical signal is between about one kilovolt and twenty kilovolts.
  11. 11. The method of claim 10, wherein the voltage of said electrical signal is between about three kilovolts and about six kilovolts.
  12. 12. The method of claim 3, wherein the generator is configured to operate at a temperature ranging between about 15° C. and about 30° C.
  13. 13. The method of claim 12, wherein the generator is configured to operate at a temperature ranging between about 20° C. and about 25° C.
  14. 14. The method of claim 5, wherein delivering an electrical signal comprises providing an on-off switch in electrical communication with the ozone generator and the power source.
  15. 15. The method of claim 3, wherein generating said therapeutic agent comprises:
    providing an ozonated gel; and
    heating said ozonated gel to allow the desorption of the ozone-oxygen mixture from said ozonated gel.
  16. 16. The method of claim 15, wherein said ozonated gel is formed by sparging ozone through olive oil and then chilling the olive oil.
  17. 17. The method of claim 3, wherein generating said therapeutic agent comprises irradiating oxygen that may be contained within the accumulator.
  18. 18. The method of claim 17, wherein irradiating oxygen comprises providing an ultraviolet light source configured to shine ultraviolet light on the oxygen.
  19. 19. The method of claim 18, wherein a wavelength of light generated by the ultraviolet light source ranges between about 100 nm and about 700 nm.
  20. 20. The method of claim 19, wherein a wavelength of light generated by the ultraviolet light source ranges between about 140 nm and about 200 nm.
  21. 21. The method of claim 3, wherein generating said therapeutic agent comprises:
    providing an electrochemical cell configured to communicate with an accumulator, said electrochemical cell comprising an anode and a cathode; and
    creating an electrical current between the anode and the cathode such that water that may be in the electrochemical cell electrolyzes to produce ozone and oxygen at the anode.
  22. 22. The method of claim 3, wherein the generator is configured to create a ratio of micrograms of ozone to cubic centimeters of oxygen, wherein the ratio ranges from about five to about one-hundred.
  23. 23. The method of claim 22, wherein the generator is configured to create a ratio of micrograms of ozone to cubic centimeters of oxygen, wherein the ratio ranges from about twelve to about forty.
  24. 24. The method of claim 23, wherein the generator is configured to create a ratio of micrograms of ozone to cubic centimeters of oxygen of about twenty.
  25. 25. The method of claim 1, wherein said therapeutic agent is generated within the accumulator.
US12818664 2003-10-06 2010-06-18 Apparatus and method for administering a therapeutic agent into tissue Abandoned US20100307928A1 (en)

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