WO2011110666A1 - Sterilising apparatus - Google Patents

Sterilising apparatus Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2011110666A1
WO2011110666A1 PCT/EP2011/053702 EP2011053702W WO2011110666A1 WO 2011110666 A1 WO2011110666 A1 WO 2011110666A1 EP 2011053702 W EP2011053702 W EP 2011053702W WO 2011110666 A1 WO2011110666 A1 WO 2011110666A1
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WO
Grant status
Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
container
removable
lid
sterilising
portable
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/EP2011/053702
Other languages
French (fr)
Other versions
WO2011110666A8 (en )
Inventor
David Gooch
Original Assignee
Newco
Priority date (The priority date 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 date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61LMETHODS OR APPARATUS FOR STERILISING MATERIALS OR OBJECTS IN GENERAL; DISINFECTION, STERILISATION, OR DEODORISATION OF AIR; CHEMICAL ASPECTS OF BANDAGES, DRESSINGS, ABSORBENT PADS, OR SURGICAL ARTICLES; MATERIALS FOR BANDAGES, DRESSINGS, ABSORBENT PADS, OR SURGICAL ARTICLES
    • A61L2/00Methods or apparatus for disinfecting or sterilising materials or objects other than foodstuffs or contact lenses; Accessories therefor
    • A61L2/16Methods or apparatus for disinfecting or sterilising materials or objects other than foodstuffs or contact lenses; Accessories therefor using chemical substances
    • A61L2/18Liquid substances or solutions comprising solids or dissolved gases
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61LMETHODS OR APPARATUS FOR STERILISING MATERIALS OR OBJECTS IN GENERAL; DISINFECTION, STERILISATION, OR DEODORISATION OF AIR; CHEMICAL ASPECTS OF BANDAGES, DRESSINGS, ABSORBENT PADS, OR SURGICAL ARTICLES; MATERIALS FOR BANDAGES, DRESSINGS, ABSORBENT PADS, OR SURGICAL ARTICLES
    • A61L2/00Methods or apparatus for disinfecting or sterilising materials or objects other than foodstuffs or contact lenses; Accessories therefor
    • A61L2/02Methods or apparatus for disinfecting or sterilising materials or objects other than foodstuffs or contact lenses; Accessories therefor using physical phenomena
    • A61L2/04Heat
    • A61L2/06Hot gas
    • A61L2/07Steam
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61LMETHODS OR APPARATUS FOR STERILISING MATERIALS OR OBJECTS IN GENERAL; DISINFECTION, STERILISATION, OR DEODORISATION OF AIR; CHEMICAL ASPECTS OF BANDAGES, DRESSINGS, ABSORBENT PADS, OR SURGICAL ARTICLES; MATERIALS FOR BANDAGES, DRESSINGS, ABSORBENT PADS, OR SURGICAL ARTICLES
    • A61L2/00Methods or apparatus for disinfecting or sterilising materials or objects other than foodstuffs or contact lenses; Accessories therefor
    • A61L2/16Methods or apparatus for disinfecting or sterilising materials or objects other than foodstuffs or contact lenses; Accessories therefor using chemical substances
    • A61L2/23Solid substances, e.g. granules, powders, blocks, tablets
    • A61L2/235Solid substances, e.g. granules, powders, blocks, tablets cellular, porous or foamed
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61LMETHODS OR APPARATUS FOR STERILISING MATERIALS OR OBJECTS IN GENERAL; DISINFECTION, STERILISATION, OR DEODORISATION OF AIR; CHEMICAL ASPECTS OF BANDAGES, DRESSINGS, ABSORBENT PADS, OR SURGICAL ARTICLES; MATERIALS FOR BANDAGES, DRESSINGS, ABSORBENT PADS, OR SURGICAL ARTICLES
    • A61L2202/00Aspects relating to methods or apparatus for disinfecting or sterilising materials or objects
    • A61L2202/10Apparatus features
    • A61L2202/12Apparatus for isolating biocidal substances from the environment
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61LMETHODS OR APPARATUS FOR STERILISING MATERIALS OR OBJECTS IN GENERAL; DISINFECTION, STERILISATION, OR DEODORISATION OF AIR; CHEMICAL ASPECTS OF BANDAGES, DRESSINGS, ABSORBENT PADS, OR SURGICAL ARTICLES; MATERIALS FOR BANDAGES, DRESSINGS, ABSORBENT PADS, OR SURGICAL ARTICLES
    • A61L2202/00Aspects relating to methods or apparatus for disinfecting or sterilising materials or objects
    • A61L2202/10Apparatus features
    • A61L2202/16Mobile applications, e.g. portable devices, trailers, devices mounted on vehicles

Abstract

The present invention relates to portable sterilisers for sterilising items using sterilising fluids. In particular, the present invention provides a portable steriliser for sterilising an item using sterilising fluids, comprising: a container (800) for receiving an item to be sterilised and for receiving a sterilising fluid a removable insert (820) comprising an absorbent material for absorbing a sterilising fluid; and a removable lid (808) engageable with the container, wherein the removable insert is shaped to receive an item to be sterilised.

Description

STERILISING APPARATUS

The present invention relates to sterilising apparatus. In particular, the present invention relates to portable sterilisers for sterilising items using sterilising fluids.

Sterilisers for sterilising items using sterilising fluids are known. Generally they comprise a container or receptacle (for example a bucket) into which are place items to be sterilised (for example baby feeding bottles, teats and other baby feeding paraphernalia) and a sterilising fluid (for example Milton (RTM) solution). The items are left in the receptacle until the items are sterilised. A disadvantage of the known sterilising apparatus is that, once filled with the sterilising fluid, the receptacle is generally not portable, as fluid may leak out as it sloshes around the receptacle during transportation. This is not convenient for the user, as it may be required to move the receptacle from one area of a household to another (or even from one property to another) once filled with sterilising fluid.

We have therefore appreciated the need for a portable steriliser.

The present invention provides a portable steriliser for sterilising an item using sterilising fluids, comprising: a container for receiving an item to be sterilised and for receiving a sterilising fluid a removable insert comprising an absorbent material for absorbing a sterilising fluid; and a removable lid engageable with the container, wherein the removable insert is shaped to receive an item to be sterilised.

By using a removable absorbent material, the container does not need to be filled with a sterilising fluid to sterilise the items. Instead, only an amount of sterilising fluid sufficient to saturate the absorbent material is required to enable sterilising of the item placed in the container. As such, this reduces this risk of excess fluid spilling out of the container during opening of the container to remove a sterilised item. Furthermore, the shape of the removable insert allows the item to be sterilised to be held firmly within the container, and to ensure that a maximum surface area of the item is in contact with the absorbent insert, allowing sterilisation of the item.

In preferred embodiments, the removable insert has an exterior shape that corresponds with an interior shape of the container. In other preferred embodiments, the removable insert is shaped to receive a child's dummy. In further preferred embodiments, the absorbent material comprises an absorbent sponge or foam material.

In embodiments, the removable insert comprises two or more separable portions. Preferably, at least one of the separable portions is shaped to receive an item to be sterilised.

Advantageously, by providing the insert having two separable layers enables easier cleaning of the insert after use. It has been found that after repeated use, debris removed from the item to be sterilised congregates in the recess in the insert. The debris is removed from the insert by separating the upper and lower layers, and either washing or wiping the two portions before re-assembling them.

Furthermore, the two separable layers also reduce the risk of the sterilising solution splashing out of the container onto the user during insertion of the insert, since less volume of fluid is displaced for each separable portion when compared to inserting a single piece having the same volume as the two layers combined.

In embodiments, the removable lid provides a substantially waterproof seal when engaged with the container. In some embodiments, the removable lid is in a press-fit or threaded engagement with the container when engaged. In some embodiments, the removable lid is a removable inner lid. Additionally, the steriliser may comprise a removable outer lid engageable with the container via a press-fit or threaded engagement. In alternative embodiments, the removable lid is a removable outer lid.

In some embodiments, the removable outer lid comprises an O-ring around an inner circumferential edge. In other embodiments, the container comprises an O-ring around an outer circumferential edge.

In some embodiments, the removable outer lid comprises a handle or attachment means for attaching the steriliser to other items.

In some embodiments, the removable lid comprises one or more protrusions extending from a surface, the protrusions being arranged to contact an item to be sterilised when the removable lid is engaged with the container.

Advantageously, the protrusion ensures that as much of the item to be sterilised as possible is in contact with the insert, and therefore the sterilising solution.

The present invention also provides a portable steriliser for sterilising items using sterilising fluids, comprising: a container for receiving items to be sterilised and for receiving a sterilising fluid; and a removable outer lid engageable with the container to provide a substantially waterproof seal when engaged with the container, wherein the removable outer lid comprises a pressure valve configured to close to provide a substantially waterproof seal when an internal pressure of the container is below a pressure threshold, and configured to open when an internal pressure of the container is above the pressure threshold.

The valve in the lid opens when a pressure in the container (due to a build up of steam when use for example as a steam steriliser) increases above a desired threshold to prevent a dangerous build up of steam. In practice, the valve allows the pressure to increase up to 1 bar, although the skilled reader would understand that if the components (for example the container and the lid) were designed to withstand greater pressures, other values may be possible. Advantageously, an increased pressure during the sterilisation process actually aids the degree to which the items are sterilised.

In some embodiments, the portable steriliser further comprises a float engageable with the removable outer lid, wherein, when the float is engaged with the removable outer lid and the removable outer lid is engaged with the container, the float extends from the removable outer lid and is arranged to contact items to be sterilised in the container.

Advantageously, the float ensures that all the items to be sterilised are submerged in the sterilising fluid.

In embodiments, the outer lid, when engaged with the container, is in threaded engagement. In some embodiments, the outer lid comprises an O-ring around an inner circumferential edge.

In preferred embodiments, the outer lid comprises a handle for carrying the steriliser. In some embodiments, the container comprises a recess for containing a measured portion of fluid. In some embodiments, the portable steriliser comprises an outer flange extending from the container or removable lid, the outer flange being arranged to permit the container to be placed on its side.

The present invention also provides a portable steriliser for sterilising items using sterilising fluids, comprising: a container for receiving items to be sterilised and for receiving a sterilising fluid; a first interior collar disposed at a first level of an interior surface of the container; a removable inner lid engageable with the first interior collar; and a removable outer lid engageable with the container, wherein the removable inner lid is configured to provide a substantially waterproof seal when engaged with the first inner collar, and wherein the removable inner lid comprises a pressure valve configured to close to provide a substantially waterproof seal when an internal pressure of the container is below a pressure threshold, and configured to open when an internal pressure of the container is above the pressure threshold.

Since the inner lid engages with the inner collar and is configured to provide a substantially waterproof seal when engaged with the inner collar, this allows the container to be transported during use without the risk of the contents of the container spilling out.

The valve in the lid opens when a pressure in the container (due to a build up of steam when use for example as a steam steriliser) increases above a desired threshold to prevent a dangerous build up of steam. In practice, the valve allows the pressure to increase up to 1 bar, although the skilled reader would understand that if the components (for example the container and the lid) were designed to withstand greater pressures, other values may be possible. Advantageously, an increased pressure during the sterilisation process actually aids the degree to which the items are sterilised.

In embodiments, the portable steriliser comprises a second inner collar disposed at a second level, different from the first level, of an interior surface of the container, and wherein the inner lid is engageable with the second inner collar to provide a substantially waterproof seal.

The provision of a second inner collar at a different level or position within the container means that the inner lid can be placed at different levels and still provide a waterproof seal. This means that the inner lid can be placed at a level that is appropriate for the amount of sterilising fluid required for the number of items to be sterilised. In embodiments, the inner lid is in threaded engagement with the inner collar when engaged. In some embodiments, the outer lid, when engaged with the container, is in threaded engagement. In some embodiments, the inner lid comprises an O-ring around an outer circumferential surface. In other embodiments, the inner collar comprises an O- ring around an inner circumferential edge.

In some embodiments, the inner lid is flexible, in other embodiments the inner lid is rigid. Furthermore the outer lid may comprise a handle for carrying the steriliser.

In some embodiments, the outer lid comprises an O-ring around an inner circumferential edge.

In preferred embodiments, the outer lid comprises one or more vent apertures.

In some embodiments, the container comprises a recess for containing a measured portion of fluid.

In some embodiments, the portable steriliser comprises an outer flange extending from the container or removable lid, the outer flange being arranged to permit the container to be placed on its side. The present invention also provides a portable steriliser for sterilising items using sterilising fluids, comprising: a container for receiving items to be sterilised and for receiving a sterilising fluid; a first interior collar disposed at a first level of an interior surface of the container; a removable inner lid engageable with the first interior collar; and a removable outer lid engageable with the container, wherein the removable inner lid is configured to provide a substantially waterproof seal when engaged with the first inner collar. Since the inner lid engages with the inner collar and is configured to provide a substantially waterproof seal when engaged with the inner collar, this allows the container to be transported during use without the risk of the contents of the container spilling out.

The present invention will now be described by way of example only and with reference to the accompanying figures, in which:

Figures 1 a-1 d show a first embodiment of a portable steriliser according to the present invention;

Figure 2 shows a second embodiment of a portable steriliser according to the present invention; Figure 3 shows a third embodiment of a portable steriliser according to the present invention;

Figure 4 shows a fourth embodiment of a portable steriliser according to the present invention;

Figure 5 shows a close-up of the lid area of a portable steriliser according to the present invention;

Figures 6a-6d show a fifth embodiment of a portable steriliser according to the present invention;

Figures 7a-7g show a sixth embodiment of a portable steriliser according to the present invention; and Figures 8a-8b show a seventh embodiment of a portable steriliser according to the present invention. It should be appreciated that when we describe a sterilising fluid, this fluid may be a pre-mixed sterilising solution. Alternatively, the sterilising fluid may refer to a non-sterilised fluid (for example water) to which a sterilising agent is added, in liquid or tablet form (for example Milton (RTM) Sterilising Tablets), to create a sterilising fluid.

Furthermore, the terms "sterilising", "sterilised" or "sterile" are intended to cover situations where a high level of sterilisation has occurred, as well as situations where a satisfactory level of disinfection (preferably a high level) has occurred (i.e. the item is not sterilised, but disinfected to a satisfactory level).

Figures 1 a to 1 d show a portable steriliser according to a first aspect of the present invention. The steriliser comprises a container 100 for receiving items to be sterilised and the sterilising fluid. First 102 and second 104 inner collars are provided along an internal surface of the container 100 at respective first and second levels. Each of the first and second inner collars has a thread on an inner circumferential edge. The inner collars 102 and 104 are glued or plastic welded in position during manufacture.

The steriliser also comprises a flexible, removable inner lid 106 that has a thread along an outer circumferential edge and an O-ring along the same circumferential edge. A removable outer lid 108 is also provided, and that has a thread along an inner circumferential edge for engaging with a corresponding threaded on an outer circumferential edge of the container 100. The removable inner lid also comprises a valve (not shown), which is designed to provide a waterproof seal when closed. During use, the items to be sterilised are placed in the container 100 with the sterilising fluid (not shown). Assuming a full amount of the fluid is required, the flexible inner lid 106 is screwed into the second, higher, inner collar 106. The combination of the thread and the O-ring provides a substantially waterproof seal to seal off the container and to prevent fluids from leaking or sloshing from the container during transportation.

The outer lid 108 is then screwed to the container 100 and the items to be are left to be sterilised. The steriliser may then be transported using the handle 1 10 on the outer lid 108.

Alternatively, if fewer or smaller items or less fluid is requires, the inner lid 106 may be screwed to the first, lower inner collar 102.

The advantage of the removable inner lid 106 and inner collars are that they provide a substantially waterproof seal, such that the portable steriliser may be moved during use without the sterilising fluid leaking out. In an alternative use of the portable steriliser, a small amount of water is placed in a recess (not shown) in the base of the container 100 along with the items to be sterilised. In this alternative use, the inner lid 106 is again screwed to the inner collars 102 or 104 to give the desired volume in which items may be sterilised. The outer lid 108 may be screwed to the container 100 and the unit is placed in a microwave for sterilisation using steam. For this use, the valve in the removable lid opens when a pressure in the container (due to a build up of steam) increases above a desired threshold to prevent a dangerous build up of steam. Furthermore, vents 1 12 are also located in the outer lid 108 to prevent a dangerous build up of steam. In practice, the valve allows the pressure to increase up to 1 bar, although the skilled reader would understand that if the components (for example the container and the lid) were designed to withstand greater pressures, other values may be possible.

Advantageously, an increased pressure during the sterilisation process actually aids the degree to which the items are sterilised.

Figure 2 show an exploded view of a second embodiment of the portable steriliser. The steriliser again comprises a container 200 for receiving items to be sterilised and the sterilising fluid. No internal collars are provided in this embodiment. Instead, the volume comprises the whole of the container.

The steriliser also comprises a removable float 242, which can be attached to the outer lid 208. When attached to the outer lid, the float 242 extends from the outer lid in the direction of the container 200. A sealing element 240, which may comprise an O-ring shaped to rest on a circumferential edge of the container, is provided between the the container and outer lid to provide a waterproof seal. Alternatively, the sealing element 240 is affixed to the outer lid 208.

The outer lid 208 is provided with a valve 250, which comprises an O-ring seal 252. The valve is designed to provide a waterproof seal when closed. The outer lid 208 is also provided with a handle 210.

During use, the items to be sterilised are placed in the container 200 with the sterilising fluid (not shown). The outer lid 208 is then screwed to the container 200 and the items to be sterilised are left to sterilise. The steriliser may then be transported using the handle 210 on the outer lid 208. The sealing element 240 provides a substantially waterproof seal to seal off the container and to prevent fluids from leaking or sloshing from the container during transportation when the outer lid 208 is engaged with the container 200. In an alternative use of the portable steriliser, a small amount of water is placed in a recess (not shown) in the base of the container 200 along with the items to be sterilised. The outer lid 208 is screwed to the container 200 and the unit is placed in a microwave for sterilisation using steam. For this use, the valve in the outer lid opens when a pressure in the container (due to a build up of steam) increases above a desired threshold to prevent a dangerous build up of steam.

Figure 3 shows a third embodiment of the present invention, which is a smaller version of the first embodiment. In this third embodiment, the container 300 is smaller in capacity for added portability. For example, the container 300 may only be large enough to receive a single set of baby's bottle, teat and lid. The principle of operation is similar to that given for figures 1 a to 1 d, except that there are no inner collars, and the inner removable lid 106 (also comprising a valve - not shown) only attaches at one location of the container (i.e. the top). Features the same as the first embodiment have been given like numbers. As with the first embodiment of the invention, the aspect shown in figure 3 may be used with a sterilising fluid, or be placed in a microwave for sterilising using steam.

Figure 4 shows a fourth embodiment of the present invention, which is a smaller version of the second embodiment. In this fourth embodiment, the container 400 is smaller in capacity for added portability. For example, the container 400 may only be large enough to receive a single set of baby's bottle, teat and lid. The principle of operation is similar to that given to the second embodiment and with reference to figure 2. Features the same as the second embodiment have been given like numbers. As with the second embodiment of the invention, the embodiment shown in figure 4 may be used with a sterilising fluid, or be placed in a microwave for sterilising using steam. In such a use, the valve 250 in the outer lid 208 prevents a dangerous build up of steam occurring in the container 400 by opening when the pressure within the container reaches a pressure threshold value.

Figure 5 shows the portable steriliser having an outer flange 560, which enables the steriliser to be placed on its side on a surface without it rolling around on the surface. This feature is particularly useful with smaller microwave ovens, where the ovens are not tall enough to receive an upright steriliser.

Figure 6 shows a third embodiment of the present invention. In this embodiment, the container 600 is smaller still. For example, the container 600 may only be large enough to receive a child's dummy 624. In operation, a removable insert 620, which comprises an absorbent material, is placed in the container 600. The insert 600 has an external shape that substantially corresponds with the internal shape of the container 600 for a snug-fit. The insert 620 also has an internal shape that is suitable for snugly receiving an item to be sterilised, for example such as a child's dummy 624. The insert 620 is made from an absorbent material such as a foam or sponge, for example a PVA type material.

A sterilising fluid 622 is then introduced into the container 600 until the insert 620 is sufficiently saturated with the fluid 622. The item 624 is then placed into the internal-shaped portion of the insert 620 and the outer lid 608 is screwed to the container 600. As well as a thread on an inner circumferential edge of the outer lid 608, an O-ring is provided along that same edge. Alternatively, the O- ring may be along the outer circumferential edge of the container 600.

The O-ring and threaded engagement between the container 600 and the outer lid 608 provide a substantially waterproof seal to allow the container 600 to be moved during sterilising of the item 624. Furthermore, the shape of the insert maximises the contact surface area of the item to be sterilised 624, ensuring proper sterilisation of the item.

Figure 7 shows an alternative (sixth) embodiment of the steriliser shown in figure 6. In this embodiment, the container 700 is similarly sized to container 600 in figure 6. That is, the container 700 may only be large enough to receive a child's dummy 724.

In operation, a sterilising fluid is poured into the container 700 up to a fill level, preferably marked on the container. Alternatively, a non-sterilised fluid (for example water) is poured to the correct level, and a sterilising tablet 722 is added to the fluid to create a sterilising fluid. Alternatively, a concentrated sterilising solution is added to the non-sterile fluid to create a sterilising fluid of the desired concentration. A removable insert 720, which comprises an absorbent material, is placed in the container 700. The insert 720 has an external diameter that substantially corresponds with the internal diameter of the container 700. The insert 720 also has an internal shape that is suitable for snugly receiving an item to be sterilised, for example such as a child's dummy 724. The insert 720 is made from an absorbent material such as a foam or sponge. The insert 720 is additionally retained in the container 700 by a retaining lip 730.

The external surface of the insert 720 is provided with ridges extending from an upper portion to a lower portion about its circumference. This external shape of the insert 720 allows the sponge to be inserted into the base without substantially displacing the sterilising fluid already in the container 700.

Once placed into the sterilising solution, the insert 720 absorbs a portion of the solution, and is saturated by the solution. The item 724 is then placed into the internal-shaped portion of the insert 720. A removable inner lid, or sealing cap 706, which is preferably made from a soft, flexible material, is placed over and pressed into the open end of the container 700. The sealing cap 706 is dimensioned to create a water-tight seal to prevent the sterilising solution escaping. Furthermore, the sealing cap is also dimensioned to press down on the item to be sterilised and the insert such that excess sterilising fluid comes into contact with upper parts of the item to be sterilised. An outer lid 708 is screwed to the container 700 to close the container. In some embodiments, the sealing cap 706 is integral with the outer lid 708.

In other embodiments, the out lid 708 has as an O-ring provided on the thread on the inner circumferential edge. Alternatively, the O-ring may be along the outer circumferential edge of the container 700. Such an O-ring provides an additional water-tight seal between the lid and the container.

With such substantially waterproof seals, this allows the container 700 to be moved during sterilising of the item 724. Furthermore, the shape of the insert maximises the contact surface area of the item to be sterilised 724, ensuring proper sterilisation of the item.

Figure 8 shows a seventh embodiment of the steriliser, similar to that shown in figures 6 and 7. In this embodiment, the container 800 is similarly sized to container 600 in figure 6. That is, the container 800 may only be large enough to receive a child's dummy.

In operation, a sterilising fluid is poured into the container 800 up to a fill level, preferably marked on the container. Alternatively, a non-sterilised fluid (for example water) is poured to the correct level, and a sterilising tablet is added to the fluid to create a sterilising fluid. Alternatively, a concentrated sterilising solution is added to the non-sterile fluid to create a sterilising fluid of the desired concentration.

A removable insert 820, which comprises an absorbent material, is placed in the container 800. The insert 820 has an external diameter that substantially corresponds with the internal diameter of the container 800. The insert 820 also has an internal shape that is suitable for snugly receiving an item to be sterilised, for example such as a child's dummy. The insert 820 is made from an absorbent material such as a foam or sponge. The insert 820 is additionally retained in the container 800 by a retaining lip 830.

In this embodiment, the insert 820 comprises two separable portions 820a and 820b, shown as upper and lower layers in the figures. A recess is provided in the upper layer 820a for receiving snugly the item to be sterilised. Advantageously, by providing the insert having two separable layers enables easier cleaning of the insert after use. It has been found that after repeated use, debris removed from the item to be sterilised congregates in the recess in the insert 820. The debris is removed from the insert by separating the upper 820a and lower 820b layers, and either washing or wiping the two portions before reassembling them. Furthermore, the two separable layers also reduce the risk of the sterilising solution splashing out of the container onto the user during insertion of the insert, since less volume of fluid is displaced for each separable portion when compared to inserting a single piece having the same volume as the two layers combined.

The two separable layers 820a and 820b are coloured differently to aid insertion of the layers of the insert in the correct order. Preferably, lower layer 820b is a darker colour than the upper layer 820a. In one embodiment, lower layer 820b is blue and the upper layer 820a is a white or cream colour. The skilled reader of course would have many colours to choose from, and would understand that a difference in contrast between the two layers is sufficient to help aid the layers into the container in the correct order. Furthermore, the lower layer 820b is coloured with a dye that fades over time, for example over a period of one to two months (whatever is desired by the manufacturer). Advantageously, this provides the user with a visual indicator that the insert 820 has been used for a length of time and should now be replaced with a new insert. This ensures that ageing inserts are replaced regularly so that the sterilisation of items can be effective.

Once placed into the sterilising solution, the insert 820 absorbs a portion of the solution, and is saturated by the solution. The item to be sterilised is then placed into the internal-shaped portion of the insert 820 and pressed down to ensure that the sterilising solution covers the item. The item may be partially rotated in the insert; the friction between the item and the snug-fitting insert 820 enable debris to be removed.

An outer lid 808 is screwed to the container 800 to close the container. A sealing element, or O-ring, 840 is located between the lid 808 and the container 800 and is designed to provide a substantially waterproof seal between the lid and container to prevent the sterilising solution escaping. Furthermore, a portion 842 of the outer lid 808 protrudes from the outer lid so that it presses down on the item to be sterilised when the lid is in engaged with the container such that excess sterilising fluid comes into contact with upper parts of the item to be sterilised.

In some embodiments, the sealing element 840 is coupled to the outer lid 808. Alternatively, the sealing element is coupled to a circumferential edge of the container 800.

With such substantially waterproof seals, this allows the container 800 to be moved during sterilising of the item. Furthermore, the shape of the insert maximises the contact surface area of the item to be sterilised, ensuring proper sterilisation of the item.

No doubt many other effective alternatives will occur to the skilled person. It will be understood that the invention is not limited to the described embodiments and encompasses modifications apparent to those skilled in the art lying within the scope of the claims appended hereto.

Claims

CLAIMS:
1 . A portable steriliser for sterilising an item using sterilising fluids, comprising:
a container (600, 700, 800) for receiving an item to be sterilised and for receiving a sterilising fluid
a removable insert (620, 720, 820) comprising an absorbent material for absorbing a sterilising fluid; and
a removable lid (608, 706, 708, 808) engageable with the container, wherein the removable insert is shaped to receive an item (624, 724) to be sterilised.
2. A portable steriliser according to claim 1 , wherein the removable insert (624) has an exterior shape that corresponds with an interior shape of the container.
3. A portable steriliser according to claim 1 or 2, wherein the removable insert (720, 820) comprises two or more separable portions.
4. A portable steriliser according to claim 3, wherein at least one of the separable portions is shaped to receive an item to be sterilised.
5. A portable steriliser according to claim 1 , 2, 3 or 4, wherein the removable insert is shaped to receive a child's dummy (624, 724).
6. A portable steriliser according to any preceding claims, wherein the absorbent material comprises an absorbent sponge or foam material.
7. A portable steriliser according to any preceding claims, wherein the removable lid provides a substantially waterproof seal when engaged with the container.
8. A portable steriliser according to any preceding claims, wherein, when engaged, the removable lid is in a press-fit or threaded engagement with the container.
9. A portable steriliser according to any preceding claims, wherein the removable lid is a removable inner lid (706).
10. A portable steriliser according to claim 9, further comprising a removable outer lid (708) engageable with the container via a press-fit or threaded engagement.
1 1 . A portable steriliser according to any one of claims 1 to 8, wherein the removable lid is a removable outer lid (608, 808).
12 A portable steriliser according to claim 10 or 1 1 , wherein the removable outer lid comprises an O-ring around an inner circumferential edge.
13. A portable steriliser according to claim 10 or 1 1 , wherein the container comprises an O-ring around an outer circumferential edge.
14. A portable steriliser according to any one of claims 10 to 13, wherein the removable outer lid comprises a handle or attachment means for attaching the steriliser to other items.
15. A portable steriliser according to any preceding claims, wherein the removable lid comprises one or more protrusions extending from a surface, the protrusions being arranged to contact an item to be sterilised when the removable lid is engaged with the container.
16. A portable steriliser for sterilising items using sterilising fluids, comprising:
a container (200, 400, 500) for receiving items to be sterilised and for receiving a sterilising fluid; and a removable outer lid (208, 508) engageable with the container to provide a substantially waterproof seal when engaged with the container, wherein the removable outer lid comprises a pressure valve configured to close to provide a substantially waterproof seal when an internal pressure of the container is below a pressure threshold, and configured to open when an internal pressure of the container is above the pressure threshold.
17. A portable steriliser according to claim 16, further comprising a float (242) engageable with the removable outer lid, wherein, when the float is engaged with the removable outer lid (208, 508) and the removable outer lid is engaged with the container, the float extends from the removable outer lid and is arranged to contact items to be sterilised in the container.
18. A portable steriliser according to claim 16 or 17, wherein the outer lid (208, 508), when engaged with the container, is in threaded engagement.
19. A portable steriliser according to claim 16, 17 or 18, wherein the outer lid comprises an O-ring around an inner circumferential edge.
20. A portable steriliser according to any one of claims 16 to 19, wherein the outer lid comprises a handle (210, 510) for carrying the steriliser.
21 . A portable steriliser according to any one of claims 16 to 20, wherein the container comprises a recess for containing a measured portion of fluid.
22. A portable steriliser according to any one of claims 16 to 21 , comprising an outer flange (560) extending from the container or removable lid, the outer flange being arranged to permit the container to be placed on its side.
23. A portable steriliser for sterilising items using sterilising fluids, comprising:
a container (100, 300) for receiving items to be sterilised and for receiving a sterilising fluid; a first interior collar (102) disposed at a first level of an interior surface of the container;
a removable inner lid (106) engageable with the first interior collar; and a removable outer lid (108) engageable with the container,
wherein the removable inner lid (106) is configured to provide a substantially waterproof seal when engaged with the first inner collar, and wherein the removable inner lid comprises a pressure valve configured to close to provide a substantially waterproof seal when an internal pressure of the container is below a pressure threshold, and configured to open when an internal pressure of the container is above the pressure threshold.
24. A portable steriliser according to claim 23, comprising a second inner collar (104) disposed at a second level, different from the first level, of an interior surface of the container, and wherein the inner lid is engageable with the second inner collar to provide a substantially waterproof seal.
25. A portable steriliser according to claim 23 or 34, wherein, when engaged, the inner lid (106) is in threaded engagement with the inner collar (104).
26. A portable steriliser according to claim 23, 24 or 25, wherein the inner lid comprises an O-ring around an outer circumferential surface.
27. A portable steriliser according to claim 23, 24 or 25, wherein the inner collar comprises an O-ring around an inner circumferential edge.
28. A portable steriliser according to any one of claims 23 to 27, wherein the inner lid is flexible.
29. A portable steriliser according to any one of claims 23 to 28, wherein the outer lid (108), when engaged with the container, is in threaded engagement.
30. A portable steriliser according to any one of claims 23 to 29, wherein the outer lid comprises an O-ring around an inner circumferential edge.
31 . A portable steriliser according to any one of claims 23 to 30, wherein the outer lid comprises one or more vent apertures (1 12).
32. A portable steriliser according to any one of claims 23 to 31 , wherein the outer lid comprises a handle (1 10) for carrying the steriliser.
33. A portable steriliser according to any one of claims 23 to 32, wherein the container comprises a recess for containing a measured portion of fluid.
34. A portable steriliser according to any one of claims 23 to 33, comprising an outer flange extending from the container or removable lid, the outer flange being arranged to permit the container to be placed on its side.
35. A portable steriliser for sterilising items using sterilising fluids, comprising:
a container (100, 300) for receiving items to be sterilised and for receiving a sterilising fluid;
a first interior collar (102) disposed at a first level of an interior surface of the container;
a removable inner lid (106) engageable with the first interior collar; and a removable outer lid (108) engageable with the container,
wherein the removable inner lid (106) is configured to provide a substantially waterproof seal when engaged with the first inner collar.
PCT/EP2011/053702 2010-03-12 2011-03-11 Sterilising apparatus WO2011110666A8 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB1004115.5 2010-03-12
GB201004115A GB201004115D0 (en) 2010-03-12 2010-03-12 Sterilising apparatus

Applications Claiming Priority (5)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
CN 201180023297 CN102933238A (en) 2010-03-12 2011-03-11 Sterilising apparatus
CA 2792992 CA2792992A1 (en) 2010-03-12 2011-03-11 Sterilising apparatus
RU2012143619A RU2012143619A (en) 2010-03-12 2011-03-11 sterilizing unit
EP20110707865 EP2544724A1 (en) 2010-03-12 2011-03-11 Sterilising apparatus
JP2012556532A JP2013521837A (en) 2010-03-12 2011-03-11 Sterilizer

Publications (2)

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WO2011110666A1 true true WO2011110666A1 (en) 2011-09-15
WO2011110666A8 true WO2011110666A8 (en) 2012-06-14

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PCT/EP2011/053702 WO2011110666A8 (en) 2010-03-12 2011-03-11 Sterilising apparatus

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EP (1) EP2544724A1 (en)
JP (1) JP2013521837A (en)
CN (1) CN102933238A (en)
CA (1) CA2792992A1 (en)
GB (1) GB201004115D0 (en)
RU (1) RU2012143619A (en)
WO (1) WO2011110666A8 (en)

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WO2014026179A1 (en) * 2012-08-10 2014-02-13 Tomy International, Inc. Sterilizer
WO2014123953A1 (en) * 2013-02-05 2014-08-14 Precision Ventures, Llc Portable sterilizer

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WO1991011204A1 (en) * 1990-01-29 1991-08-08 Charles Alban Mcloughlin Purifying device for a sterilizing vessel
GB2257910A (en) * 1991-07-24 1993-01-27 Kaltenbach & Voigt Pressure relief valve for a steam sterilizer
GB2296182A (en) 1995-05-20 1996-06-26 Hulya Harber Cleaning device
DE29617133U1 (en) 1996-10-02 1997-01-02 Wirth Christian Cleaning device for pacifier
US5722537A (en) 1996-06-11 1998-03-03 Sigler; Elizabeth Disinfectant container for pacifier or nipple
GB2373433A (en) 2001-03-20 2002-09-25 Julie Martin Dummy cleaning apparatus
GB2378901A (en) * 2001-07-19 2003-02-26 Jackel Int Ltd Baby bottle steriliser with safety trigger
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US4353367A (en) * 1980-11-14 1982-10-12 The Clinipad Corporation Container for sterilizing a flexible tube
GB2180452A (en) * 1985-09-17 1987-04-01 William Derek Bradford A sterilising vessel
WO1991011204A1 (en) * 1990-01-29 1991-08-08 Charles Alban Mcloughlin Purifying device for a sterilizing vessel
GB2257910A (en) * 1991-07-24 1993-01-27 Kaltenbach & Voigt Pressure relief valve for a steam sterilizer
GB2296182A (en) 1995-05-20 1996-06-26 Hulya Harber Cleaning device
US5722537A (en) 1996-06-11 1998-03-03 Sigler; Elizabeth Disinfectant container for pacifier or nipple
DE29617133U1 (en) 1996-10-02 1997-01-02 Wirth Christian Cleaning device for pacifier
GB2373433A (en) 2001-03-20 2002-09-25 Julie Martin Dummy cleaning apparatus
GB2378901A (en) * 2001-07-19 2003-02-26 Jackel Int Ltd Baby bottle steriliser with safety trigger
US20030217423A1 (en) 2002-05-23 2003-11-27 Larsen L. Chris Infant pacifier cleaning container
US20040258560A1 (en) 2003-06-20 2004-12-23 Lake Robert F. Decontamination device

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* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2014026179A1 (en) * 2012-08-10 2014-02-13 Tomy International, Inc. Sterilizer
WO2014123953A1 (en) * 2013-02-05 2014-08-14 Precision Ventures, Llc Portable sterilizer

Also Published As

Publication number Publication date Type
CN102933238A (en) 2013-02-13 application
EP2544724A1 (en) 2013-01-16 application
CA2792992A1 (en) 2011-09-15 application
WO2011110666A8 (en) 2012-06-14 application
RU2012143619A (en) 2014-04-20 application
GB201004115D0 (en) 2010-04-28 grant
JP2013521837A (en) 2013-06-13 application

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