US 20070056873 A1
A package which incorporates, integrated in the composition of one of the components of the test's package, a plastic base (1), a moisture absorbing agent, so that this does not affect them, in combination with one or more polymers, which may be packaged in a blister produced by a base sheet (7) with structures which give rise to cavities (9), in each one whereof a rapid diagnostic test (5) is placed, whose base sheet (7) is complemented with a cover sheet (8) which seals the previous by heat fusion, achieving the hermeticity of each cavity.
1. A blistered rapid diagnostic test characterized in that it comprises:
a base (1);
a structure (2);
a rapid diagnostic test (5, 5′) between said base and said structure;
a moisture absorbing agent integrated in the test;
a base sheet (7) having at least one structure determining at least one cavity so as to define a blister receiving said test;
a cover sheet (8) which is fixed by heat fusion to the base sheet (7), so as to determine a seal of each the at least one cavity (9, 9′) containing the rapid diagnostic test (5, 5′).
2. The blistered rapid diagnostic test of
3. The blistered rapid diagnostic test of
4. The blistered rapid diagnostic test of
5. The blistered rapid diagnostic test of
6. The blistered rapid diagnostic test of
a plurality of weakened tear lines (10, 10′) provided between each two cavities (9, 9′) to facilitate separation of the units.
7. The blistered rapid diagnostic test of
8. The blistered rapid diagnostic test of
9. The blistered rapid diagnostic test of
10. The blister rapid diagnostic test of
This application is a §365 (c) continuation application of PCT/ES2005/000235 filed Apr. 29, 2005, which in turn claims priority to ES Application P200401045 filed Apr. 30, 2004 and ES Application P 200401085 filed May 6, 2004, each of the foregoing applications is incorporated herein by reference.
The present invention relates to a rapid diagnostic test with incorporated moisture absorbent material, which avoids that said moisture may affect the test or even invalidate it, giving erroneous results for the test being performed. Likewise, the invention relates to its form of blister packaging which may be formed in unit form or comprising several units which can be separated from one another.
The object of the invention is, therefore, to provide a new rapid diagnostic test system which incorporates the moisture absorbent material in its own structure, which permits the use of smaller packaging with the consequent reduction in packaging costs, in addition to its smaller transport volume and the smaller surface of moisture permeation from the exterior, this being achieved by suitable blister packaging which permits its properly sealed commercialization.
Currently, there are various products to perform rapid diagnostic tests and new ones are created every day. The best-known ones are immunochromatographic tests, and within these the best known are perhaps rapid pregnancy tests. The great problem with all these types of rapid diagnostic tests is that moisture considerably affects them, changing their characteristics and properties, and may even possibly invalidate them. Therefore, in addition to using packaging, e.g. aluminum or plastics, which guarantee hermeticity to moisture penetration, a type of moisture absorber, such as silica gel, molecular sieve or clay pellets is always added.
There currently exist two clear types of packaging for these products: those which contain multiple tests in a single package, generally for hospital use, aluminum bags being the best-known of this type, wherein a determined number of tests and a pellet or separate sachet with the moisture absorbent material is inserted therein; and, on the other hand, the known plastic tubes wherein a number of tests is also inserted, together with the pellet or sachet of moisture absorbent material. On some occasions, instead of this, packaging manufacturers exist that incorporate the absorbent material in the stopper, which logically increases their price. These types of multiple test packaging have, among others, the great drawback that once the packaging has been opened, it is difficult to guarantee the subsequent shelf-life of the product contained therein.
On the other hand, packages exist which contain a single test, generally intended for personal use and, therefore, with clearly different requirements. The packaging used in these cases is an aluminum bag of reduced dimensions, wherein a test and the sachet or pellet of absorbent material is inserted. This type of single-test packaging has some different types of drawbacks, e.g. a considerably larger bag than the test is necessary so that the sachet or pellet of moisture absorbent material can easily be inserted therein in the filling process, with the consequent increase in packaging costs.
Furthermore, two different operations are required in the filling process, one to insert the test in the packaging and the other to insert the moisture absorbent material, which hinders said packaging process. Another drawback they have is that in many cases the use of these tests is geared towards personal use and not towards qualified personnel, so that there may be confusion in the use of the pellet or sachet of absorbent material instead of the test, with subsequent possible implications, and they may even be ingested.
On the other hand, as the size of the packaging bag is considerably larger than the test, its transport, very important in this area, is considerably affected and its costs are greatly increased.
Finally, the quantity of moisture absorbent material needed is greater as the packaging is larger and, therefore, the moisture permeation surface will also increase.
The blister packaging system as means of packaging and commercialization of products and/or items is very common in different fields and sectors of the art, especially in the pharmaceutical sector, nevertheless, in the diagnostics sector, conventional blister packaging presents serious problems and drawbacks since the tests are seriously affected by moisture, as previously mentioned. In any case, the blister packaging system can be considered as totally rejected in the industrial diagnostic sector, and probably due to the deficiency of traditional aluminums, wherein micropores exist, as well as the necessary thickness for decent insulation, which involves a large quantity of aluminum necessary to form the blister, also due to the considerable dimensions necessary to blister package the rapid diagnostic test, together with the moisture absorbent material and the high cost of the machinery to manufacture the blister, as well as for the blister packaging process.
ES 2138890 discloses a test device comprises a housing having one or more reactants which may be damaged by humidity during storage wherein the housing is made up, at least partially, of plastic material containing moisture absorbent.
U.S. Pat. No. 6,319,466 discloses a test device for detecting the presence of a residue analyte in a sample includes a support strip and a sample-absorbing matrix attached to the support strip. The sample-absorbing matrix has a material for absorbing an amount of the sample. The test device also includes a mobile-phase support for holding a mobile-phase composition. The mobile-phase support is attached to the support strip and in contact with the sample-absorbing matrix. A mobile-phase composition is disposed on the mobile-phase support and has a receptor for binding with the analyte. The mobile-phase composition can be carried in the sample. A stationary-phase membrane is attached to the support strip and has a first membrane end in contact with the mobile-phase composition and a second membrane end. The membrane allows lateral capillary flow of the sample from the first membrane end to the second membrane end. A test zone is on the stationary-phase membrane between the first membrane end and second membrane end and having a first binder for binding with an unbound receptor. A control zone is the stationary-phase a membrane between the test zone and second membrane end and has a second binder for binding with an analyte-bound receptor or residual unbound receptor.
The rapid diagnostic test with incorporated moisture absorbent material and its form of blister packaging which the invention proposes, resolves the aforementioned problem in the different aspects commented in a fully satisfactorily manner.
Thus, the rapid diagnostic test claimed is characterized in that it incorporates a moisture absorbing agent within the test in one of its constituent parts, or in one of the general structural components of said test, which eliminates said moisture during the time in which it remains packaged, so that it does not affect or invalidate it, giving erroneous results when performing the test.
These types of rapid diagnostic tests normally have a plastic base to give them a certain rigidity, or a handling area, so that as the invention proposes, said base or handling area will be the test component that has the best characteristics to incorporate the moisture absorber, since it does not directly interfere with the test, and therefore does not affect its properties as a rapid diagnostic test. Said base or handling area combines one or more polymers with a drying agent, i.e. moisture absorber.
In this way, the base can be formed from a polymer that forms the main part of the composition, e.g. a thermoplastic or thermosetting polymer, a minority non-miscible polymer with the majority polymer, e.g. a hydrophilic or hydrophobic material and a particle that is substantially found in the minority polymer, e.g. the active agent, i.e. the moisture absorbing agent.
The base with the incorporated absorbent material can be adhered by any method suitable for the test, although it will normally be performed with a double-sided adhesive, which means an additional barrier between the test and the absorbent material found in the base.
According to another characteristic of the invention, these rapid diagnostic tests with incorporated moisture absorbers are blister packaged. Said blister packaging is based on the blister being formed from two aluminum or plastic sheets, one of them acting as the base wherein one or several cavities is formed for the corresponding test or tests, while the other sheet acts as cover and seal, to close the structures or cavities of the base with the rapid diagnostic tests therein.
The cover and sealing sheet is fixed on the base sheet, by heat fusion, with the mediation of determined polymeric or other materials that belong to the state of the art and which facilitate its fixing throughout its perimeter, to achieve the hermetic sealing of the different cavities formed in the base sheet, in those cases wherein it has more than one structure or cavity.
The blister, either as independent unit or as units which are separable or detachable, by a tear line between two consecutive cavities or structures, will have the surface upon which the sealing or fixing of the cover sheet will be performed, provided with embossing by way of knurling, with the object of permitting better sealing of the cover sheet to the base sheet.
We should highlight the fact that the blister has an external punch-hole adjacent to one of the ends of each separable unit, wherefrom the cover sheet will be separated from the base sheet, which will facilitate the grip and, therefore, the pulling to separate or open the blister of that specific unit.
In a variant of embodiment, an area or space for control code, expiry date, etc. has been provided collateral to each of the units.
Another variant of practical embodiment would be the blister packaging of the test inserted in a plastic case by way of reaction device, which is very widely used in the sanitary product sector for in vitro diagnosis, especially for the rapid diagnostic tests with incorporated moisture absorbers of the invention.
Although the material used would, in principle, be aluminum, the use of other possible materials such as plastics, thermoplastics, etc., especially those with low vapour permeability, cannot be ruled out.
These types of rapid diagnostic tests with incorporated moisture absorber has a series of advantages compared to the methods used up to now to avoid this type of test from being negatively affected by moisture, such as, for example, advantages due to the smaller size of the packaging which makes it easier to transport, only one filling operation is required as the humidity absorber is incorporated in the test, doubt or confusion as to which element or elements are necessary to perform the test is eradicated for individual users.
The blister packaging system for rapid diagnostic test also has several advantages compared to traditional packaging, and among said advantages we can cite the possibility of forming several detachable units in a single body, each with its hermetic test, drastically reducing the dimensions of each unit, as well as the manufacturing costs, given the possibility of making multiple blisters, minimal or practically null moisture transfer, reduction in transport costs and commercialization and permanent maintenance of the test's shelf-life as they are independently sealed.
To complement the description being made and with the object of aiding towards a better understanding of the characteristics of the invention, in accordance with a preferred example of embodiment thereof, a set of drawings is attached as an integral part of said description, wherein the following has been represented, with an illustrative, non-limiting character.
In light of the described figures, and more specifically
The laminated plastic base (1) is the test element which incorporates the moisture absorbent material, which will be comprised of a combination of one or more polymers together with the drying agent responsible for absorbing the moisture.
As has been previously explained, the test elements (2) can be directly adhered to the base (1) or, as is shown in
However, a preferred packaging system, represented in
Each one of these structures or cavities (9) is delimited with respect to the adjacent one, by a pair of weakened or precut lines (10) which permit separating each part or unit determined in the blister.
The cover sheet (8) is fixed to the base sheet (7) by heat fusion, in correspondence with the entire perimeter, to achieve the hermeticity of each of the units determined by the structures (9) with the test (5) therein, since tearing these weakened or precut lines (10) permits separating each unit.
The contact surface of the base sheet (7), whereon the cover sheet (8) is fixed, has embossing (11) by way of knurling, which improves the sealing between both sheets (7) and (8).
Furthermore, adjacent to one of the ends there is a punch-hole (12) wherefrom sheets (7) and (8) are separated, allowing an easy grip and corresponding pulling of the sheet (8) when said cavity corresponding to each blister unit is opened. Evidently, other known opening systems in the blister packaging sector cannot be ruled out.
Having compared the blister packaging disclosed with the traditional packaging system, in both cases using aluminum, it has been verified that the traditional packaging in a bag has an aluminum thickness of approximately 1 micron, whilst the aluminum used in the blister packaging of the invention has an approximate thickness of 20 microns with regard to the cover or sealing sheet (8), and around 45 microns in the base sheet (8), so that thickness will be lost when making the structures in the latter, but it will never be less than the 20 microns of the cover or sealing sheet (8).
Although more material is used in the case of the invention and, therefore, it is more expensive, as a consequence of the drastic reduction in size of one packaging system with respect to the other, it means that the end cost of the blister packaging is practically the same as that of the conventional packaging.
Furthermore, we should highlight the fact that, according to the experiments performed, in traditional packaging the total humidity in the packaging, after one year, is considerably greater than that of the blister packaging of the invention, being able to consider moisture transfer in the blister packaging of the invention as zero.
We should also state that the dimensions of the blister packaging with respect to conventional packaging are considerably reduced in the first case, and we can estimate dimensions of 120×60 mm, in conventional packaging, compared to approximately 78×5 mm in the blister packaging of the invention, which involves considerable differences between the moisture filtration surface of 0.0144 m2 in conventional packaging compared to 0.00078 m2 in the blister packaging of the invention, the initial volume of internal air also being considerably lower, which logically has an influence on the initial moisture quantity within the packaging at the time of sealing.
Specifically, it is calculated that the moisture in the conventional packaging, after one year, is 0.377 g compared to 0.008 g in the case of the blister packaging of the invention, which has a clear implication consisting of less need for moisture absorbent material, and therefore greater shelf-life of the product in the blister packaging of the invention.
It should also be highlighted that, as the blister packaging of the invention is of reduced dimensions with respect to conventional packaging, the boxes wherein the products are going to be sent admit between 10 and 34 times more units than with traditional packaging, which means a very large reduction in transport costs, and more so for this type of sector where most of the production is devoted to importation and exportation.
Finally, we should state that even for the case of multi-tests, the blister packaging of the invention has a clear advantage over traditional systems, plastic tubes or bags of greater dimensions, as in these cases once the packaging is open its shelf-life is very difficult to guarantee; in the case of the invention, as the tests are individually hermetically sealed, the shelf-life is not altered.