US 2104525 A
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Jan. 4, 1938. A. P. PROSKOURIAKOFF 2,104,525
RECORDING APPARATUS FDR BLOOD SEDIIENTATION TESTS Filed April 3, 1937 m Av RY m m M Avzlvin BPR'OSKOUR/AKOFF m'vEmoR BY Quin P- Mluu ATTORNEY Patented Jan. 4, i938 PATENT OFFICE RECORDING APPARATUS FOR BLOOD SEDILIENTATION TESTS Avenir P. Proskouriakoil', Lansdowne, Pa.-
Application April 3, 1937, Serial No. 134,893
' 4 Claims. My invention relates to recording apparatus for blood sedimentation test and has particular reference to apparatus for determining and recording the rate, index and time of blood sedimentation.
Blood, as is known, consists of cells and a transparent liquid or plasma. The cells are in a state of suspension and they render the blood opaque, having higher refractive index than plasma. The cells, however, do not remain long in suspension if blood, when rendered non-coagulable, is left standing in a container but slowly precipitate, forming an opaque sediment and leaving a clear demarkation line between plasma and cells. This line gradually moves down as the cells become packed more closely in the lower portion of the container. By observing the movement of the demarkation line it is possible to determine the rate of sedimentation.
It has been found that this rate of sedimentation has very different characteristics, depending on the state of health of an individual whose blood is being tested. The rate is very slow for the blood of a healthy individual but becomes relatively rapid in certain pathological cases. By measuring the relative rate of sedimentation it is possible to determine whether a certain suspected illness is present in a patient. This test is especially valuable for determining the degree of activity of various inflammatory processes, and particularly in cases of active tuberculosis.
The value of such tests for diagnosis of certain diseases has been recognized by the medical profession, so that the blood sedimentation test represents now a regular routine practice in hospitals and sanatoriums, and charts are drawn by taking observations at more or less frequent intervals of time of blood in a test tube. Such a method of preparing charts is not very reliable, however, as the result depends on the accuracy of observations and regularity of time periods when observations are taken, adding to the burden of work of hospital attendants.
I have found, however, that it is possible to provide a mechanism which can automatically draw a chart of the sedimentation index for a definite period of time, such as one hour. One of the objects of my invention is therefore to provide means to indicate on a sheet of paper positions of the demarkation line between plasma and blood cells. For this purpose I provide a holder for a test tube containing blood being tested, the holder being movably supported so as to be adjustable in the vertical direction and being provided with an extension arm with a pen or similar writing instrument. ,The pen is in contact with a sheet of paper removably fastened to the surface of a cylinder which is slowly turned by a clock mechanism. The holder with the test tube is set in a position where the surface of the blood in the tube corresponds to a starting point, when the pen will draw a zero line on the paper. I also provide means to move the holder with the test tube in accordance with the change of position of the demarkation line in the tube. For this purpose I provide a source of a narrow beam of light which remains stationary and is directed on a phototube across the test tube. I enclose the phototube in an opaque casing with a narrow slot for the light, the path of the light beam determining the zero position of the test tube. I further provide a mechanism operated by an electric motor for raising the test tube support so as to maintain the demarkation line in the path of the beam of light. I arrange the electrical connections in such a manner that the motor becomes energized when the phototube is activated by the beam from the source of light, raising the tube until the opaque portion of the liquid shuts oil the light, disconnecting the motor circuit and causing it to stop. The result is that the tube supporting mechanism gradually rises so as to maintain the line of demarkation just above the beam of light.
Another object of my invention is to provide means to increase the length of travel of the pen in order to obtain the curve on a larger scale.
For this purpose I provide a lever one end of which is connected to the test tube casing, the other, through hinged links, is provided with a pen in contact with the paper on thecylinder.
Another object of my invention is to provide means to cause the pen to move in a straight line, preferably vertical For this purpose I form the lever mechanism of parallel links so connected that both ends move in straight vertical directions.
Still another object of my invention is to provide means to adjust the position of the casing with reference to the driving mechanism so that the demarkation line can be placed exactly in the path of the beam of light before starting the I operation of the mechanism. For this purpose I provide a clutch in the drive, made so that it becomes operative when the test tube is inserted in the casing.
My invention is more fully described in the IDU'ZUi accompanying specification which- Fig. 1 is an elevational view of my apparatus partly in section, with the lamp removed.
Fig.2is atopplanview of thesamepartlyin section. a
Fig. 3 is an end view of the same partly in section.
My apparatus consists of a hollow base I on which a bracket 2 is mounted supporting a top plate 3. The latter has a hole in one end in which slides a tubular casing 4 for a test tube 5. The casing has upper and lower flanges 6 and I with holes slidably fitted over posts 8 held between the base and the top plate.
The lower flange I has an additional hole which slidably fits over a vertical screw 9 extending into the base by its lower end and connected with an electric motor I0. A spring wire I I is fastened by and drawing in one end to the lower side of the flange I by a screw I2. The other end of the spring is curved to fit between the threads of the screw. The middle portion of the spring passes through a slot I3 in the casing 4. The spring is set so that its resiliency tends to push it away from the screw 9, but the tube 5, when inserted into the casing, pushes the spring outward, pressing its end against the screw. In this operative position the spring acts as a nut so that when the motor is rotating, the screw pushes the flange 1 upward together with the casing and test tube. The spring forms a clutch between the driving screw and the casing so that the casing can be set in any position above the base I by holding it in hands and inserting the test tube until the spring II engages the screw. The casing has a slot I4 in one side extending between the flanges 6 and 'I. The test tube is filled with blood to the level of a mark I5 near the upper end of the slot I4. An electric lamp I6 is supported on the base at one side of the casing 4 and is enclosed by a metal tube I1 with a cap l8 and provided with a narrow slot IE on the level of the mark I5 when the casing 4 is in its lowest position. A narrow beam of light thereby passes through the test tube at the mark I5. The other side of the casing has a slot I9 permitting the beam of light to pass through the casing 4 and to fall on a phototube supported on the base I. The phototube is covered by ametal enclosure 2I with a narrow slot 22 for the beam of light. The slot 22 is substantially on the same level as the slot I8.
The casing 4 has shield plates 21 extending from the sides of the slot I9 to the enclosure or cover 2I of the phototube in order to prevent any light from reaching the phototube except through the slot 22.
The flange I has a pivot 24 at one corner for links 25 and 25. The other end of the link 25 is pivotally connected at 21 to one end of a link 28 the other end of which is pivotally connected at 29 to a bar 30. The end of the bar 30 is pivotally connected with the link 25. The links 26 and 28 are double in order to balance the pull on the bar 30. The link 28 is pivotally supported at 3| on the bracket 2, the point 3| being nearer the lower end of the link 28 than to its upper end in order to cause the outer end of the bar 30 to move in a straight line in vertical direction when the flange I with the casing 4 is moved. The bar 30 is considerablylonger than the links so that its end correspondingly magnifies the movements of the casing 4. The end of the bar 30 has a hole for a -the paper 33. When pen 32 which touches a sheet of graph paper 33 on a cylinder 34. The cylinder 34 is mounted on a shaft 25 the upper end of which is journaled in the plate 3, and the lower end is connected with a clock mechanism 36. The latter may be an electric clock or asynchronous motor properly geared so as to cause the cylinder or drum 34 to make one revolution in about one hour.
The apparatus is connected to an outside power circuit through a flexible cord 31 and has a switch 38. The lamp I6 is directly connected to the outside circuit while the motor I0 is connected through the phototube, the latter operating through an ordinary amplifier and relay 39.
Phototubes with amplifiers and relays have been standardized and are now commercially available in complete sets for various purposes. For the applicants purposes a General Electric unit CR505-A5 can be used, consisting of a phototube connected by a flexible cable with a box containing the amplifier and relay. This unit is fully described in the General Electric bulletin Gil i-16545. Suitable units are also described in the Westinghouse bulletin TD-IG.
The operation of my apparatus is as follows.
The tube 5 is filled with blood to be tested up to the mark I5 and is placed in the casing 4, holding the latter in the lowest position or position in which the mark I5 is placed in the path of the beam of light from the lamp I6. The pen 32 is filled with ink and brought in contact with the paper 33. The latter may be any ordinary sectioned paper calibrated in fractions of an hour along the cylinder circumference. The current is then turned on, causing the lamp IE to throw a beam of light through the slots I8, I4, I9 and 22 on the phototube 20. It should be noted that the latter may be of any ordinary type. gas filled or vacuum, or a photocell may be used instead with selenium or similar photoelectric materials. The motor, however, will not turn if the casing 4 has been placed so that the blood level is higher than the beam of light, shutting it off the photoelectric element. The pen 32 will then draw a horizontal line which will be a zero line. If however, the blood level in the tube is below the beam of light, then the motor will turn, raising the tube until the light is shut off, so that there will appear a short vertical line on the paper before the zero line commences to be drawn.
The red cells in the blood will gradually begin to settle to the bottom of the tube, leaving clear plasma in the upper portion of the tube 5. As soon as the level of the red cells drops below the upper edge of the light beam, the motor III will begin to turn, receiving its current through the relay which is now energized by the phototube. The tube will be again raised until the light is shut off from the phototube, when the rotation will stop. It follows that the casing with the tube 5 will adjust itself to a new position by very fine steps as the cells continue to settle down in the tube 5.
As a result, the pen 32 will draw a curve on the blood is taken from a healthy individual, a characteristic curve 39 will be drawn (Fig. 4), going down very slowly, because the blood in this case precipitates its cells at a very slow rate, usually requiring over two hours to reach a stationary state. This is a normal curve or sedimentation index. A more or less serious illness, however, changes considerably properties of the blood in this respect, and curves 40 and H represent such sedimentation indices HU Inn" 1-- I which prove beyond any doubt that the patient has a sickness which may be only suspected by other symptoms. It has been found that one hour is quite suflicient time for the determination oi. the character of the sedimentation index. I provide the cylinder 34, therefore, with a lug 43 which opens a switch 42 upon completion of one revolution which takes one hour. For starting the cylinder it is manually returned to the original position after a new graph paper has been fitted.
It is obvious that my apparatus can be also used for the determination of sedimentation time oi various other suspensions or liquids containing an opaque matter which settles at a more or less slow rate, or for testing the degree of fineness of solid materials by their rate of precipitation from liquids.
It is understood that my apparatus may be further modified without departing from the spirit of my invention as set forth in the appended clalmsj I claim as my invention:
1. A recording apparatus for sedimentation test of liquids containing an opaque matter in suspension, comprising a vessel for the liquid to be tested, means to movably support the vessel, a photoelectric element supported at the side of the vessel, means to produce a narrow beam of light, means to direct the beam of light through the vessel on the photoelectric element, means to move the vessel in a substantially vertical direction, means to control the vessel moving means by the photoelectric element for maintaining the line of separation of the opaque matter from the transparent liquid at a substantially constant height, and means to exhibit the relative movement of the line of separation in the vessel.
2. A recording apparatus for sedimentation test of liquids containing an opaque matter in suspension, comprising a vessel for the liquid to be tested, means to movably support the vessel, a photoelectric element supported at the side 01 the vessel, nieans to produce a narrow beam of light, means to direct the beam of light through the vessel on the photoelectric element, means to move the vessel in a substantially vertical direction, means to control the vessel moving means by the photoelectric element for maintaining the line oi. separation of the opaque matter from the t liquid at a substantially constant height, and means to exhibit the magnitude of movement of the line of separation with reference to definite periods of time.
3. A recording apparatus for sedimentation test or liquids containing a relatively opaque matter in suspension, comprising a vessel for a liquid to be tested, means to movably support the vessel in a vertical direction, a photoelectric element supported at the side of the vessel, means to produce a narrow beam of light, means to direct the beam of light through the vessel against the photoelectric element, means to move the vessel supporting means in a vertical direction, means to control the moving means by the photoelectric element for maintaining the line of separation 01' the opaque matter from the transparent liquid at a constant height, means to exhibit the magnitude and rate of movements of the vessel supporting means, a detachable connection between the vessel supporting means and the moving means, and means to render the detachable connection operative by the placement of the vessel in the supporting means.
4. A recording apparatus for sedimentation test of liquids containing a relatively opaque matter 'in suspension, comprising a vessel for a liquid to be tested, means to movably support the vessel, a photoelectric element supported at the side of the vessel, means to produce a narrow beam of light, means to direct the beam of light through the vessel against the photoelectric element, means to move the vessel supporting means in upward direction, means to render the moving means operative by the photoelectric element when the latter receives the beam of light, means to prevent the downward movement 01' the supporting means when the moving means is rendered inoperative, means to reset the supporting means in the starting position upon completion of the test, and means to exhibit the magnitude and rate of movements of the supporting means.
AVENIR. P. PROSKOURIAKOFF.