US20110105830A1 - Applicator for Self-Expanding Intravaginal Urinary Incontinence Devices - Google Patents

Applicator for Self-Expanding Intravaginal Urinary Incontinence Devices Download PDF

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Publication number
US20110105830A1
US20110105830A1 US12/609,139 US60913909A US2011105830A1 US 20110105830 A1 US20110105830 A1 US 20110105830A1 US 60913909 A US60913909 A US 60913909A US 2011105830 A1 US2011105830 A1 US 2011105830A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
barrel
insertion
applicator
polymeric material
section
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Abandoned
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US12/609,139
Inventor
Mari Hou
Raymond J. Hull, Jr.
Alan Trojanowski
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FIRST QUALITY HYGIENIC Inc
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Johnson and Johnson Consumer Inc
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Priority to US12/609,139 priority Critical patent/US20110105830A1/en
Assigned to MCNEIL-PPC, INC. reassignment MCNEIL-PPC, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: HOU, MARI, HULL, RAYMOND J., JR., TROJANOWSKI, ALAN
Publication of US20110105830A1 publication Critical patent/US20110105830A1/en
Assigned to FIRST QUALITY HYGIENIC, INC. reassignment FIRST QUALITY HYGIENIC, INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: MCNEIL-PPC, INC.
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61FFILTERS IMPLANTABLE INTO BLOOD VESSELS; PROSTHESES; DEVICES PROVIDING PATENCY TO, OR PREVENTING COLLAPSING OF, TUBULAR STRUCTURES OF THE BODY, e.g. STENTS; ORTHOPAEDIC, NURSING OR CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICES; FOMENTATION; TREATMENT OR PROTECTION OF EYES OR EARS; BANDAGES, DRESSINGS OR ABSORBENT PADS; FIRST-AID KITS
    • A61F2/00Filters implantable into blood vessels; Prostheses, i.e. artificial substitutes or replacements for parts of the body; Appliances for connecting them with the body; Devices providing patency to, or preventing collapsing of, tubular structures of the body, e.g. stents
    • A61F2/0004Closure means for urethra or rectum, i.e. anti-incontinence devices or support slings against pelvic prolapse
    • A61F2/0031Closure means for urethra or rectum, i.e. anti-incontinence devices or support slings against pelvic prolapse for constricting the lumen; Support slings for the urethra
    • A61F2/005Closure means for urethra or rectum, i.e. anti-incontinence devices or support slings against pelvic prolapse for constricting the lumen; Support slings for the urethra with pressure applied to urethra by an element placed in the vagina
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61FFILTERS IMPLANTABLE INTO BLOOD VESSELS; PROSTHESES; DEVICES PROVIDING PATENCY TO, OR PREVENTING COLLAPSING OF, TUBULAR STRUCTURES OF THE BODY, e.g. STENTS; ORTHOPAEDIC, NURSING OR CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICES; FOMENTATION; TREATMENT OR PROTECTION OF EYES OR EARS; BANDAGES, DRESSINGS OR ABSORBENT PADS; FIRST-AID KITS
    • A61F13/00Bandages or dressings; Absorbent pads
    • A61F13/15Absorbent pads, e.g. sanitary towels, swabs or tampons for external or internal application to the body; Supporting or fastening means therefor; Tampon applicators
    • A61F13/20Tampons, e.g. catamenial tampons; Accessories therefor
    • A61F13/2082Apparatus or processes of manufacturing
    • A61F13/2085Catamenial tampons
    • A61F13/2097Catamenial tampons method of manufacturing tampon applicators
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61FFILTERS IMPLANTABLE INTO BLOOD VESSELS; PROSTHESES; DEVICES PROVIDING PATENCY TO, OR PREVENTING COLLAPSING OF, TUBULAR STRUCTURES OF THE BODY, e.g. STENTS; ORTHOPAEDIC, NURSING OR CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICES; FOMENTATION; TREATMENT OR PROTECTION OF EYES OR EARS; BANDAGES, DRESSINGS OR ABSORBENT PADS; FIRST-AID KITS
    • A61F13/00Bandages or dressings; Absorbent pads
    • A61F13/15Absorbent pads, e.g. sanitary towels, swabs or tampons for external or internal application to the body; Supporting or fastening means therefor; Tampon applicators
    • A61F13/20Tampons, e.g. catamenial tampons; Accessories therefor
    • A61F13/26Means for inserting tampons, i.e. applicators
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61FFILTERS IMPLANTABLE INTO BLOOD VESSELS; PROSTHESES; DEVICES PROVIDING PATENCY TO, OR PREVENTING COLLAPSING OF, TUBULAR STRUCTURES OF THE BODY, e.g. STENTS; ORTHOPAEDIC, NURSING OR CONTRACEPTIVE DEVICES; FOMENTATION; TREATMENT OR PROTECTION OF EYES OR EARS; BANDAGES, DRESSINGS OR ABSORBENT PADS; FIRST-AID KITS
    • A61F13/00Bandages or dressings; Absorbent pads
    • A61F13/15Absorbent pads, e.g. sanitary towels, swabs or tampons for external or internal application to the body; Supporting or fastening means therefor; Tampon applicators
    • A61F13/20Tampons, e.g. catamenial tampons; Accessories therefor
    • A61F13/26Means for inserting tampons, i.e. applicators
    • A61F13/266Insertion devices, e.g. rods or plungers, separate from the tampon
    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B29WORKING OF PLASTICS; WORKING OF SUBSTANCES IN A PLASTIC STATE IN GENERAL
    • B29CSHAPING OR JOINING OF PLASTICS; SHAPING OF MATERIAL IN A PLASTIC STATE, NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR; AFTER-TREATMENT OF THE SHAPED PRODUCTS, e.g. REPAIRING
    • B29C45/00Injection moulding, i.e. forcing the required volume of moulding material through a nozzle into a closed mould; Apparatus therefor
    • B29C45/16Making multilayered or multicoloured articles
    • B29C45/1676Making multilayered or multicoloured articles using a soft material and a rigid material, e.g. making articles with a sealing part
    • B29C2045/1678Making multilayered or multicoloured articles using a soft material and a rigid material, e.g. making articles with a sealing part first moulding the soft material

Abstract

An applicator for a self-expanding intravaginal device has a barrel and a plunger that can substantially contain the self-expanding intravaginal device without significant insertion barrel distortion while maintaining comfortable applicator insertion. The barrel has an insertion end, an opposed gripper end, and a central portion therebetween, and it is arranged and configured to substantially contain the self-expanding intravaginal device. The plunger is in telescoping relation with the barrel, and it is arranged and configured to expel the self-expanding intravaginal device out of the insertion end of the barrel when the plunger is pushed into the gripper end of the barrel. A plurality of flexible petals substantially closes the insertion end of the barrel, and the central portion of the barrel has a load to 3 mm deflection of at least about 15 Newtons. Other aspects of the invention include a self-expanding intravaginal urinary incontinence system, and methods of making the applicator.

Description

    FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to an applicator suitable for intravaginal devices. The applicator is useful for placing the device in the vagina in the correct position to enable the device to function. The applicator is designed to be used with self-expanding intravaginal urinary incontinence devices.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Tampons are absorbent articles that are inserted into a woman's vagina to absorb blood and other menstrual discharges. Intravaginal urinary incontinence devices are inserted into a woman's vagina to reduce or inhibit urinary incontinence. Applicators may be used to ease the insertion of both urinary incontinence devices and tampons. Applicators typically include a generally cylindrical barrel for holding the tampon or device and placing in the vagina. The barrel may also include what are commonly called petals at the insertion end. Petals are flexible flaps that go from a “closed” or rounded configuration to an “open” configuration which allows the contained tampon or device to be expelled from the barrel. The applicator also includes a plunger for expelling the device or tampon into the vagina. Cardboard and plastic applicators are known in the art. Typically, disposable plastic applicators are utilized to deliver tampons inside the vagina. Disposable applicators for tampons typically utilize a single plastic resin construction. However some tampon applicators have considered the use of combinations of plastic materials. For example, Williams et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,681,894, describes a tampon applicator barrel made up of linear low density polyethylene and styrene-butadiene-styrene block copolymer to provide comfort and ease of insertion.
  • However, the physical characteristics of some intravaginal urinary incontinence devices vary significantly from tampons. In particular, self-expanding intravaginal urinary incontinence devices may exert significant forces on the applicator containing them, so the choice of materials used to make the applicators may be significantly restricted.
  • Intravaginal incontinence devices are designed to exert significant pressure within a user's vagina to support an adjacent urinary system. Prior to use, the device may be contained within an applicator for delivery into a vagina. Therefore, designers have had to modify the intravaginal urinary incontinence devices to minimize the distorting forces that may be exerted upon the device applicator. For example, Ziv, US Pub. Pat. App. 2007/0203429 discloses an intravaginal urinary incontinence device that must be “activated” or manually expanded after insertion to provide the force necessary to support the urinary system.
  • Alternately, the applicator strength must be increased to oppose the distorting forces of a self-expanding intravaginal urinary incontinence device. Because such a device may be in a constricted configuration, it is important that the applicator be able to withstand the pressure exerted by the incontinence device over an extended period of time (prior to use). However, such a modification may make it difficult or impossible to provide a closed insertion end with petals that are flexible enough to permit the expulsion of the device without too much force.
  • Thus, there is a continuing need for a self-expanding intravaginal urinary incontinence device that is structurally strong enough to avoid distortion or deformation over an extended period of time in storage prior to use, yet have soft, flexible petals for comfortable insertion.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • Surprisingly, we have found that an applicator for a self-expanding intravaginal device having a barrel and a plunger can substantially contain the self-expanding intravaginal device without significant insertion barrel distortion while maintaining comfortable applicator insertion. The barrel has an insertion end, an opposed gripper end, and a central portion therebetween, and it is arranged and configured to substantially contain the self-expanding intravaginal device. The plunger is in telescoping relation with the barrel, and it is arranged and configured to expel the self-expanding intravaginal device out of the insertion end of the barrel when the plunger is pushed into the gripper end of the barrel. A plurality of flexible petals substantially closes the insertion end of the barrel, and the central portion of the barrel has a load to 3 mm deflection of at least about 15 Newtons.
  • In another aspect of the invention a self-expanding intravaginal urinary incontinence system includes a self-expanding intravaginal urinary incontinence device and an applicator substantially containing the self-expanding intravaginal urinary incontinence device. The applicator has a plunger in telescoping relation with a barrel having an insertion end, an opposed gripper end, and a central portion therebetween. A plurality of flexible petals substantially closes the insertion end of the barrel, and the central portion of the barrel has a load to 3 mm deflection of at least about 15 Newtons.
  • In another aspect of the invention a method of making an insertion barrel for an applicator for a self-expanding intravaginal device includes the steps of:
      • a. forming a first mold cavity configuration corresponding to a first section comprising the insertion end of the insertion barrel;
      • b. injecting a first, flexible polymeric material into the first mold cavity configuration;
      • c. forming a second mold cavity configuration to permit overmolding a second, relatively rigid polymeric material onto the first section;
      • d. injecting the second, relatively rigid polymeric material into the second mold cavity configuration to form a second section of the insertion barrel extending from the first section, wherein the second section comprises a central portion and gripper portion of the insertion barrel; and
      • e. ejecting the insertion barrel from the second mold cavity configuration.
  • In yet another aspect of the invention a method of making an insertion barrel for an applicator for a self-expanding intravaginal device includes the steps of:
      • a. injecting a first, flexible polymeric material into a first mold cavity to form a first section comprising the insertion end of the insertion barrel;
      • b. ejecting the first section of the insertion barrel from the first mold;
      • c. injecting a second, relatively rigid polymeric material into a second mold cavity to form a second section comprising a central portion and gripper portion of the insertion barrel;
      • d. ejecting the second section of the insertion barrel from the second mold;
      • e. attaching the second section to the first section to form the insertion barrel.
    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The invention will be more fully understood and further advantages will become apparent when reference is made to the following detailed description of the invention and the accompanying drawings in which:
  • FIG. 1 is a side elevation of an applicator of the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 is a perspective view of one embodiment of a two-component insertion barrel useful in an applicator of the present invention.
  • FIG. 3 is a perspective view of the first section of the insertion barrel of FIG. 2.
  • FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the second section end of the insertion barrel of FIG. 2.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • The present invention relates to self-expanding intravaginal urinary incontinence system that includes a self-expanding intravaginal urinary incontinence device and an applicator for delivering the device. The applicator includes a barrel to substantially contain the device and a plunger in telescoping relation with the barrel to expel the device from the insertion end of the barrel. Because the self-expanding intravaginal urinary incontinence device may exert significant forces on the applicator containing them, the choice of materials used to make the applicators may be significantly restricted. Further, materials useful to provide an applicator barrel that resists distortion caused by the force exerted by the incontinence device may be too stiff to provide a closed insertion end with petals that are flexible enough to permit the expulsion of the device without excessive force.
  • Therefore, it may be possible to provide an applicator barrel having sufficient rigidity with substantially thinned insertion end petals that are flexible enough for reasonable expulsion of the incontinence device. Alternatively, it may be necessary to employ different plastic material for portions of the applicator barrel. For example, a relatively rigid material may be used in a central portion of the barrel to withstand the forces exerted by the self-expanding intravaginal urinary incontinence device on the barrel, and another, relatively flexible material may be used to form the petals that substantially close the insertion end of the applicator barrel.
  • Turning to the figures, FIG. 1 shows one embodiment of the present invention. Applicator 10 includes an elongate insertion barrel 12 and a plunger 14. The insertion barrel 12 is arranged and configured to substantially contain the self-expanding intravaginal urinary incontinence device 16. The insertion barrel has an insertion end 18, an opposed gripper end 20, and a central portion 22, therebetween. In the embodiment of FIGS. 2-4, the insertion barrel 12 includes a first section 24 including the insertion end 18 of the barrel 12. This section may be formed of a relatively flexible material to form the petals 26 that substantially close the insertion end 18 of the applicator barrel 12. A second section 28 including the gripper end 20 and the central portion 22 of the insertion barrel 12 abuts the first section 24. This second section 28 may be formed of a relatively rigid material to withstand the forces exerted by the self-expanding intravaginal urinary incontinence device 16.
  • The length of the barrel 12 may range from about 20 mm to 100 mm. The outer diameter of the barrel may range from about 5 mm to 25 mm for comfortable insertion into the vagina. The thickness of the barrel wall is sufficient to withstand the pressure exerted by the device, and may range, for example, from about 0.5 mm to 2 mm. The urinary incontinence device can be loaded into either end of the barrel prior to final assembly of the applicator 10. The insertion end 18 has petals 26 for easing insertion of the applicator and for retaining the device until deployment. In one embodiment of this invention, the first section 24, including the insertion end 18, is separate from the first section 24. In another embodiment, the first section 24 and the second section 28 are different materials but are integrally formed with no distinct parts, such as by overmolding.
  • As used herein, the terms “flexible material” shall mean a material that has a sufficient flexibility to permit easy expulsion of the contained self-expanding intravaginal urinary incontinence device from the applicator. A flexible material has a lower flexural modulus than the rigid material described below.
  • As used herein, the term “rigid material” shall mean a structural material that provides a central portion of the insertion barrel with sufficient stiffness to resist significant distortion under a load of a contained self-expanding intravaginal urinary incontinence device. A significant measure of the barrel stiffness is the “load to 3 mm deflection” as measured in the Barrel Stiffness Test described below.
  • Barrel Stiffness Test
  • The barrel stiffness test is used to determine the force required to compress an applicator barrel by a fixed distance of 3 mm, the “load to 3 mm deflection.” The applicator barrel samples are prepared by cutting off the petals and finger grip end, creating a cylinder approximately 1.5-2″ in length. The sample is then held between two 4×4″ compression plates. The bottom plate is fixed at the base, and the other plate is attached to the moving crosshead. The top compression plate is brought down until it touches the sample. This is set as the zero position. The top plate compresses the sample by a distance of 3 mm, and at a rate of approximately 2 inches (50.8 mm) per minute, and the resistive force is recorded.
  • Three comparative tampon applicators were tested according to the Barrel Stiffness Test alongside two embodiments of the present invention. The results are shown in Table 1, below.
  • TABLE 1
    Wall Outer
    Thickness Diameter
    Samples (n = 5) (inches) (inches) Average Force (N)
    Comparative Product 0.02 0.75 6.3
    1: Kotex ® Security ® (19 mm)
    Tampons
    Comparative Product 0.032 0.62 8.1
    2: Tampax ® Pearl (15.7 mm)  
    Tampons
    Comparative Product 0.032 0.65 11.4
    3: Playtex ® Gentle (16.5 mm)  
    Glide ® Tampons
    Inventive Sample 1: 0.05 0.71 48.3
    White LLDPE with 2% (18 mm)
    Slip Agent
    Inventive Sample 2: 0.05 0.79 52.3
    White LLDPE with 2% (20 mm)
    Slip Agent

    The three Comparative Products used were 1) Kotex® Security® Tampons, Super Plus Absorbency from Kimberly-Clark, Neenah, Wis., 2) Tampax® Pearl Tampons, Super Plus Absorbency from Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati, Ohio, and 3) Playtex® Gentle Glide® Super Plus Absorbency from Playtex Products, Dover Del.
  • The insertion barrel 12 preferably includes two different plastic materials—the first section 24 including the insertion end 18 and its petals 26 formed of a relatively flexible polymeric material—and the first section 24, comprised of a relatively rigid polymeric material. A representative, non-limiting list of useful flexible polymeric materials includes as Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE), Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE), Thermoplastic Elastomers (TPE) and combinations thereof. A representative, non-limiting list of useful rigid polymeric materials includes acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene (ABS), High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), Linear Low Density Polyethylene (LLDPE), Polypropylene (PP), Polyamide (nylon or PA), Polyoxymethylene (POM), polystyrene, and combinations thereof.
  • Preferably, the flexible polymeric material has a lower flexural modulus than the relatively rigid polymeric material. This provides the flexibility useful to form comfortable petals in the first section and the stiffness useful to provide the rigidity in the central portion.
  • The rigid polymeric material provides a rigid central portion 22 of the insertion barrel 12. Preferably, the insertion barrel 12 has a load to 3 mm deflection of at least about 15 Newtons, more preferably at least about 20 Newtons, and most preferably, at east about 30 Newtons, and most, most preferably, at least about 40 Newtons.
  • FIGS. 2-4 shows in greater detail the barrel of the present invention. As previously mentioned, the barrel 12 can be formed of a first section 24 including the insertion end 18, which is then attached to the second section 28. One way of attaching the first and second sections 24, 28 is by way of mechanical fit. In the embodiment shown, holes 30 spaced away from the insertion end 18 engage protuberances 32 on the inner surface of the first section 24 to provide a mechanical fit between the two different sections. Other methods such as ultrasonic welding may also be used to secure the two sections together.
  • In another embodiment, the applicator barrel is made by two-step injection molding (or overmolding) of two different compatible polymeric materials to provide a secure attachment of the sections. In this process, a first shot of a flexible material, such as LDPE, is injected into a portion of a mold to form the first section 24 of the barrel 12 including the petals 26, and a second shot of a more rigid material, such as a LLDPE, is injected into a modified mold to form the first section 24 including the central portion 22 and finger grip end 20. In an alternate process, the first shot is of the more rigid material to form the central portion and finger grip end, and the second shot of the flexible material is overmolded to form the insertion end.
  • The following Table 2 provides compatibility pairings of different polymeric materials that deliver good adhesion between the components:
  • TABLE 2
    Combinations of materials known in prior art showing good adhesion1
    ABS ASA SAN S/B PS PMMA PC PSU HDPE LDPE PP EVA PA 6 PA 66 POM PBT S/B PC PBT
    ABS + + + + + + + + + + +
    ASA + + + + + + + + + + +
    SAN + + + + + + + +
    S/B + + +
    PS + + + +
    PMMA + + + + + +
    PC + + + + + + + +
    PSU + + + + + +
    HDPE + + + +
    LDPE + + + +
    PP + + +
    EVA + + + + +
    PA 6 + + + + + +
    PA 66 + + + + + +
    POM +
    PBT + + + + + + +
    PPE + + + +
    S/B
    ABS + + + + + + + + + + +
    PC
    PC + + + + + + + + + + +
    PBT
    + = good adhesion ∘ = poor adhesion − = no adhesion
    1Designing for production, 7.2 Cooling and solidification, Pg 275-309. Hanser Publishers, Copyright © 2006.
    ABS—Acrylonitrile-Butadiene-Styrene
    ASA—Acrylonitrile - Styrene - Acrylate
    SAN—Styrene-Acrylonitrile
    S/B—
    PS—Polystyrene
    PMMA—Polymethyl Methacrylate
    PC—Polycarbonate
    PSU—Polysulfone
    HDPE—High Density Polyethylene
    LDPE—Low Density Polyethylene
    PP—Polypropylene
    EVA—Ethylene vinyl acetate
    PA6—Polyamide 6
    PA66—Polyamide 66
    POM—Polyoxymethylene
    PBT—Polybutylene terephthalate
    PPE + S/B—
    ABS + PC—
    PC + PBT—
  • Applicators according to the present invention also include a deployment plunger 14, an elongate device designed to fit in a telescoping manner within the barrel 12. The plunger 14 has a leading end 34 to bear against and to deploy the incontinence device 16 and an opposite end 36 having a stop 38 to prevent the plunger from being pushed too far and to ensure proper placement of the device in the vagina. The plunger 14 is moved axially into the insertion barrel 12 in a telescoping manner to deploy the device 16 from the insertion end 18 into the vagina. The plunger 14 may be made from any suitable material. For example, the plunger may be molded from conventional thermoplastic materials such as, but not limited to, polyethylene (including without limitation HDPE, LDPE, LLDPE, etc.), polypropylene and a variety of copolymers. It is important that the plunger be strong enough to expel the incontinence device from the barrel without buckling.
  • An insertion depth indicator 40 (shown FIGS. 2 and 3) may be a raised element on the insertion barrel surface, oriented generally perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the insertion barrel (and thus, the direction of insertion). This provides a tactile feedback when the insertion is completed. The height of the insertion depth indicator may range from 2 mm to 20 mm. The insertion depth indicator may be made from any suitable material, such as polyethylene, polypropylene, a variety of copolymers, silicone, and elastomeric materials, such as ethylene propylenediene monomer and the like. The insertion depth indicator may be molded into the barrel or may be formed separately and attached to the applicator through conventional methods, such as adhesives, friction fits and the like. The insertion depth indicator is positioned such that the device is deployed in the proper position within the vagina.
  • Applicators according to the present invention may also include an orientation indicator 42 (also shown in FIGS. 2-3). The orientation indicator 42 may be helpful to place the incontinence device 16 in the vagina such that when it is deployed, the portion of the device that applies pressure, exerts pressure on the urethro-vesical junction, and any anchoring members lie on the lateral sides of the vagina. The orientation indicator 42 may clearly mark the orientation of the device within the applicator 10. The indicator 42 may be a raised line, a colored line, dots, embossments, or any suitable mark or shape that indicates orientation. The orientation indicator may be on any or all of a conventional finger grip, the insertion depth indicator, and the barrel 12 itself. If the device is aligned with the orientation indicator when it is within the applicator, then it will be aligned to the body after insertion. When the orientation indicator 42 is part of the insertion depth indicator 40, the orientation indicator 42 may be part of the shape of the insertion depth indicator 40.
  • Suitable urinary incontinence devices for use with the applicators of the present invention include, but are not limited to, devices taught in co-pending US patent applications, US Publication No. 20080009662 A1; US Publication No. 20080033230 A1; US Publication No. 20080009931 A1; US Publication No. 20080009814 A1; US Publication No. 20080009663 A1; US Publication No. 20080033231 A1; US Publication No. 20080009664 A1; and US Publication No. 20080009666 A1.
  • Examples are set forth below to further illustrate the nature of the invention and the manner of carrying it out. However, the invention should not be considered as being limited to the details thereof.
  • Example 1
  • The second section of the barrel according to FIG. 2 was molded out of polypropylene (PP) and the first section including the insertion end and the petals according to FIG. 4, was molded out of low-density polyethylene (LDPE). Deployment plunger according to FIG. 1 was molded out of linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) with a 1% modified polyethylene slip additive. The petals were then affixed onto the barrel using conventional mechanical fastening methods. The collar and finger grip components also utilized single cavity injection molds. A finger-grip sleeve and the insertion depth indicator collar were both designed to be friction fit attached to the applicator. The material utilized was a 65-durometer thermoplastic elastomer under the trade name of C-flex. The collar and the finger grip were both fit to the barrel such that they could be slid to different positions on the barrel that were associated with a woman's depth of labia associated with her BMI (Body Mass Index).
  • Samples of the barrel and petals were also molded using different polymeric materials as given in the table below.
  • TABLE 3
    Different combinations used to make the main
    portion of the barrel and insertion end.
    Barrel Petals
    PP LDPE
    HDPE LDPE
    LLDPE LDPE
    PP TPE
    HDPE TPE
    LLDPE TPE
    LLDPE LLDPE
  • In addition, some of the products were stored with self-expanding intravaginal urinary incontinence devices formed of nitinol as taught in co-pending US patent applications, US Publication No. 20080009662 A1; US Publication No. 20080033230 A1; US Publication No. 20080009931 A1; US Publication No. 20080009814 A1; US Publication No. 20080009663 A1; US Publication No. 20080033231 A1; US Publication No. 20080009664 A1; and US Publication No. 20080009666 A1, the disclosures of which are hereby incorporated by reference.
  • After accelerated aging (Aging conditions: 40° C./75% RH), ovality measurements were made. The following Table 4 provides the measurement results for the second section of the insertion barrel made using different polymeric materials.
  • TABLE 4
    Ovality at the end of 4 weeks for different polymeric materials
    used to make the main body portion of the barrel.
    Polymeric
    material Top ovality Middle ovality Bottom ovality
    LLDPE 2.4 0.53 2.22
    HDPE 2.04 0.38 0.98
    PP 1.18 0.22 0.62
    LDPE 1.2 0.56 0.4

    Thus, it can be seen that the selected materials provide minimal distortion due to the internal pressures of self-expanding intravaginal urinary incontinence devices.
  • Consumer Use Test
  • A use test was performed with 23 women to evaluate the level of comfort of the applicator of the 2-component applicator product. In the study, the women were given the applicator, lubrication (KY® Jelly), and a set of insertion and removal instructions. The women inserted the applicator after reading the instructions and then removed the applicator, leaving the tampon product inside their body. The tampon product was used in replacement for the intravaginal incontinence device. The women then filled out a questionnaire about the applicator (comfort, ergonomics, petal pinching, etc.). A one-on-one interview was then conducted to review their comments.
  • The results of this study are shown in Table 5 below.
  • TABLE 5
    Parameters tested for evaluating consumer comfort
    No. of No. of
    Sr. consumers consumers
    No. Parameters tested that agreed that disagreed
    1. While inserting, this applicator is 23 0
    comfortable
    2. While inserting, the tip of this 23 0
    applicator is comfortable
    3. While insertion, the tube of this 23 0
    applicator is comfortable
    4. Throughout the insertion 0 22
    process, I have experienced
    pinching
    5. Throughout the insertion, I have 0 22
    experienced discomfort
    n = 23
  • Based on the data above, it was determined that the 2-component applicator was comfortable while inserting and the women did not experience pinching or discomfort.
  • The specification and embodiments above are presented to aid in the complete and non-limiting understanding of the invention disclosed herein. Since many variations and embodiments of the invention can be made without departing from its spirit and scope, the invention resides in the claims hereinafter appended.

Claims (19)

1. An applicator for a self-expanding intravaginal device comprising:
a. a barrel having an insertion end, an opposed gripper end, and a central portion therebetween; arranged and configured to substantially contain the self-expanding intravaginal device;
b. a plunger in telescoping relation with the barrel arranged and configured to expel the self-expanding intravaginal device out of the insertion end of the barrel when the plunger is pushed into the gripper end of the barrel
wherein a plurality of flexible petals substantially closes the insertion end of the barrel, and wherein the central portion of the barrel has a load to 3 mm deflection of at least about 15 Newtons.
2. The applicator of claim 1, wherein the plurality of flexible petals comprise a flexible polymeric material selected from the group consisting of low density polyethylene, linear low density polyethylene, thermoplastic elastomer, and combinations thereof.
3. The applicator of claim 1, wherein the central portion of the barrel comprises a rigid polymeric material selected from the group consisting of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene, high density polyethylene, linear low density polyethylene, polypropylene, polyamide, polyoxymethylene, polystyrene, and combinations thereof.
4. The applicator of claim 1, wherein the plurality of flexible petals comprise a first, flexible material and the central portion of the barrel comprise a second, rigid material.
5. The applicator of claim 4, wherein the insertion end of the parrel comprising the plurality of flexible petals is mechanically fastened to the central portion of the barrel.
6. The applicator of claim 4, wherein the central portion of the barrel is molded onto the insertion end of the barrel comprising the plurality of flexible petals.
7. A self-expanding intravaginal urinary incontinence system comprising:
a. a self-expanding intravaginal urinary incontinence device; and
b. an applicator substantially containing the self-expanding intravaginal urinary incontinence device, the applicator comprising:
i. a barrel having an insertion end, an opposed gripper end, and a central portion therebetween; wherein a plurality of flexible petals substantially closes the insertion end of the barrel; and wherein the central portion of the barrel has a load to 3 mm deflection of at least about 15 Newtons; and
ii. a plunger in telescoping relation with the barrel arranged and configured to expel the self-expanding intravaginal urinary incontinence device out of the insertion end of the barrel when the plunger is pushed into the gripper end of the barrel.
8. A method of making an insertion barrel for an applicator for a self-expanding intravaginal device comprising the steps of:
a. forming a first mold cavity configuration corresponding to a first section comprising the insertion end of the insertion barrel;
b. injecting a first, flexible polymeric material into the first mold cavity configuration;
c. forming a second mold cavity configuration to permit overmolding a second, relatively rigid polymeric material onto the first section;
d. injecting the second, relatively rigid polymeric material into the second mold cavity configuration to form a second section of the insertion barrel extending from the first section, wherein the second section comprises a central portion and gripper portion of the insertion barrel; and
e. ejecting the insertion barrel from the second mold cavity configuration.
9. The method of claim 8, wherein the flexible polymeric material is selected from the group consisting of low density polyethylene, linear low density polyethylene, thermoplastic elastomer, and combinations thereof.
10. The method of claim 8, wherein the relatively rigid polymeric material is selected from the group consisting of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene, high density polyethylene, linear low density polyethylene, polypropylene, polyamide, polyoxymethylene, polystyrene, and combinations thereof.
11. The applicator of claim 8, wherein the flexible polymeric material has a lower flexural modulus than the relatively rigid polymeric material.
12. A method of making an insertion barrel for an applicator for a self-expanding intravaginal device comprising the steps of:
a. forming a first mold cavity configuration corresponding to a first section comprising a central portion and gripper portion of the insertion barrel;
b. injecting a first, relatively rigid polymeric material into the first mold cavity configuration;
c. forming a second mold cavity configuration to permit overmolding a second, flexible polymeric material onto the first section;
d. injecting the second, flexible polymeric material into the second mold cavity configuration to form a second section of the insertion barrel extending from the first section, wherein the second section comprises an insertion end of the insertion barrel; and
e. ejecting the insertion barrel from the second mold cavity configuration.
13. The method of claim 12, wherein the flexible polymeric material is selected from the group consisting of low density polyethylene, linear low density polyethylene, thermoplastic elastomer, and combinations thereof.
14. The method of claim 12, wherein the relatively rigid polymeric material is selected from the group consisting of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene, high density polyethylene, linear low density polyethylene, polypropylene, polyamide, polyoxymethylene, polystyrene, and combinations thereof.
15. The applicator of claim 12, wherein the flexible polymeric material has a lower flexural modulus than the relatively rigid polymeric material.
16. A method of making an insertion barrel for an applicator for a self-expanding intravaginal device comprising the steps of:
a. injecting a first, flexible polymeric material into a first mold cavity to form a first section comprising the insertion end of the insertion barrel;
b. ejecting the first section of the insertion barrel from the first mold;
c. injecting a second, relatively rigid polymeric material into a second mold cavity to form a second section comprising a central portion and gripper portion of the insertion barrel;
d. ejecting the second section of the insertion barrel from the second mold; and
e. attaching the second section to the first section to form the insertion barrel.
17. The method of claim 16, wherein the flexible polymeric material is selected from the group consisting of low density polyethylene, linear low density polyethylene, thermoplastic elastomer, and combinations thereof.
18. The method of claim 16, wherein the relatively rigid polymeric material is selected from the group consisting of acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene, high density polyethylene, linear low density polyethylene, polypropylene, polyamide, polyoxymethylene, polystyrene, and combinations thereof.
19. The applicator of claim 16, wherein the flexible polymeric material has a lower flexural modulus than the relatively rigid polymeric material.
US12/609,139 2009-10-30 2009-10-30 Applicator for Self-Expanding Intravaginal Urinary Incontinence Devices Abandoned US20110105830A1 (en)

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US12/609,139 US20110105830A1 (en) 2009-10-30 2009-10-30 Applicator for Self-Expanding Intravaginal Urinary Incontinence Devices
AU2010224466A AU2010224466B8 (en) 2009-10-30 2010-09-29 Applicator for self-expanding intravaginal urinary incontinence devices
IL208365A IL208365D0 (en) 2009-10-30 2010-10-03 Applicator for self-expanding intravaginal urinary incontinence devices
CA2716693A CA2716693C (en) 2009-10-30 2010-10-04 Applicator for self-expanding intravaginal urinary incontinence devices
BRPI1004057-9A BRPI1004057A2 (en) 2009-10-30 2010-10-27 applicator for self-expanding intravaginal device for Urinary Incontinence
JP2010243238A JP5754614B2 (en) 2009-10-30 2010-10-29 Applicator for a self-expanding intravaginal urinary incontinence device
RU2010144460/12A RU2541283C2 (en) 2009-10-30 2010-10-29 Applicator for self-expanding intravaginal devices, applied in case of incontinence
CN201010535689.XA CN102058419B (en) 2009-10-30 2010-10-29 Applicator for self-expanding intravaginal urinary incontinence devices
ES10251884.2T ES2600787T3 (en) 2009-10-30 2010-10-29 Self-expanding intravaginal devices applicator for urinary incontinence
EP10251884.2A EP2316376B1 (en) 2009-10-30 2010-10-29 Applicator for self-expanding intravaginal urinary incontinence devices
ARP100104005A AR078839A1 (en) 2009-10-30 2010-10-29 Self-expanding intravaginal devices applicator for urinary incontinence
ZA2010/07762A ZA201007762B (en) 2009-10-30 2010-10-29 Applicator for self-expanding intravaginal urinary incontinence devices
US13/771,728 US9408685B2 (en) 2009-10-30 2013-02-20 Applicator for self-expanding intravaginal urinary incontinence devices

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US20110105830A1 true US20110105830A1 (en) 2011-05-05

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US12/609,139 Abandoned US20110105830A1 (en) 2009-10-30 2009-10-30 Applicator for Self-Expanding Intravaginal Urinary Incontinence Devices
US13/771,728 Active 2030-01-04 US9408685B2 (en) 2009-10-30 2013-02-20 Applicator for self-expanding intravaginal urinary incontinence devices

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EP (1) EP2316376B1 (en)
JP (1) JP5754614B2 (en)
CN (1) CN102058419B (en)
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AU (1) AU2010224466B8 (en)
BR (1) BRPI1004057A2 (en)
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ZA201007762B (en) 2012-10-31
ES2600787T3 (en) 2017-02-10
AU2010224466B2 (en) 2014-11-20
EP2316376B1 (en) 2016-09-07
CA2716693C (en) 2018-07-10
JP5754614B2 (en) 2015-07-29
IL208365D0 (en) 2011-02-28
US20130165843A1 (en) 2013-06-27
US9408685B2 (en) 2016-08-09
AU2010224466A1 (en) 2011-05-19
AU2010224466A8 (en) 2015-03-19
BRPI1004057A2 (en) 2013-02-19
CN102058419A (en) 2011-05-18
JP2011092728A (en) 2011-05-12
AU2010224466B8 (en) 2015-03-19
CN102058419B (en) 2015-05-27
EP2316376A1 (en) 2011-05-04
RU2541283C2 (en) 2015-02-10
RU2010144460A (en) 2012-05-10
AR078839A1 (en) 2011-12-07
CA2716693A1 (en) 2011-04-30

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