US 3115460 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 24, 1963 J. B. MGcoRMlK 3,115,460 CENTRIFUGE CONTAINER Filed. April 28, 1aed United States Patent Office 3,115,460 Patented Dec. 24, 1963 Illinois Filed Apr. 28, 1965), Ser. No. 25,459 2 Claims. (Cl. 233-46) The present invention relates Ito a container and, more particularly, to an improved container or tube for use in a laboratory type centrifuge for holding liquid or other material being centrifuged.
The usual type of small centrifuge container .for laboratory type centrifuges is made of glass and is generally a cylindrical tube having its lower end tapered inwardly `and sealed. The tapered lower end has a limited crosssectional area in which the hea y phase o-f the material being centrifuged will be deposited, thereby facilitating observation. The upper end of the tube is open and the area of the mouth usually conforms to the internal area of the tube, although in some instances the walls of the tube may be provided with a rolled lip or bead. One who has used these tubes knows that it is inconvenient to pour liquid into the tubes and also that it is quite difficult to pour out the desired amount of liquid in the event that the tube is overlled, or in the event that it is desired to decant a supernatent liquid after centrifugation.
Moreover, it is frequently of advantage to have some convenient area available for conducting spot tests on `constituents or separated phases obtained during centrifugation. Conventional centrifuge containers do not provide special areas for carrying out such spot tests.
Accordingly, the principal object of the present invention is -to provide an improved centrifuge container. It is also an object of the present invention to provide an improved centrifuge container which facilitates pouring of materials thereinto and therefrom. It is a further object of the present invention to provide a simple, inexpensive centrifuge container which Imay be disposable. It is a still further object of the present `invention to provide a centrifuge container which includes means 4for readily carrying out spot tests of materials. lt is also an object of the present invention to provide an improved centrifuge container which can be effectively utilized as storage means for contained materials and which may be effectively sealed against spillage or leakage during centrifugation. Further objects and advantages of the present invent-ion will be apparent Ifrom the `following detailed description and the drawings.
tln the drawings:
FEGURE 1 is a side elevation of a preferred embodiment of a combined centrifuge tube and cap of the present invention, portions of the tube and cover being broken away, the container being shown in position in a `centrifu-ge tube holder or basket which is schematically illustrated;
FIGURE 2 is a plan View of the cap of the centrifuge container of FIGURE 2; and
'FIGURE 3 is a sectional view taken along line 3 3 of FIGURE 1.
Briefly, the illustrated embodiment of the invention comprises a centrifuge container 7 which includes a centrifuge tube 9 constructed to facilitate pouring materials into the tube, as well as decanting material from the tube. The illustrated container 7 also includes a cap 1.1 -which is detachably connected to the tube, the cap bein-g constructed so as to provide areas for spot testing. As will be pointed out, the illustrated cap li and tube 9 cooperate to provide a leak-free container `for the handling and storage of materials. Both tube and cap are Z preferably fabricated from `inexpensive materials so as to be disposable.
Now referring more particularly to FIGURE l of the accompanying drawings, the entrifuge tube 9' includes a hollow, cylindrical body section I2 having annular side walls lf3. At the lower end of the body section, as illustrated in FIGURE 1, the side walls I3 are tapered inwardly, as illustrated at 14, and are sealed to provide a bottom 4closure l5. The tapered section lid and the bottom closure l5 may be of any conventional construction.
The upper end of the body section l2 is provided with an outwardly flared section 17 whose upper end provides a mouth ft. In providing the mouth i9, the cross section of the tube 9 is enlarged from a circular cross section having an internal diameter A as shown in FIGURE 3, to an oval cross section having a minor axis B which is but slightly longer than the diameter A of the tube and a major axis C which is substantially longer than the diameter A of the tube. As shown in FIGURE 3, the midpoint of the major axis C is oset relative to the central axis ll) of the tube so that a uniform, flared section 2l is provided around at least one-haif of the periphery of the tube, that is, the area :moving countercloclcw-ise yfrom the point E to the point F. For a tube having an internal diameter of 0.635 inch, the major axis may desirably be about 1.9 inches and the minor axis about 0.8() inch or less.
The flared section 2l extends well beyond the body of the tybe 9 and provides an enlarged opening for receiving liquid and/ or for decantation of liquids from the tube. The periphery of the tube opposite the flared section 2 may be vertically aligned with the walls of the tube or it may be slightly flared as shown at Z3, that is, the portion of the periphery movin-g lfrom E to -F in .a clockwise direction.
It will be understood that the extent of the flared section 21 can vary, as desired, and that the presence of the -noneflared or slightly flared sections at 23 allows the tube to `conveniently fit the usual types of centrifuge tube holder. Thus, the flared mouth portion of the tube is restricted to less than the entire periphery of the open upper end of the tube.
Desirably, the upper portions of the flared sections 2l and 23 terminate in a vertically extending (parallel to the longitudinal axis of the tube) upper lip 25. As will be hereinafter pointed out, the lip 25 is dimensioned and `adapted to `cooperate with cap 11, by frictional engagement lwith components of the cap and is also dimensioned so that its upper surface lies in a plane so as to cooperate with the cap l1 to provide an effective seal.
The cap 11 (FIGURES 1 and 2) includes a Igenerally flat cover member 27 which extends across the mouth 19 of the centrifuge tube. Depending from the member 27 is `a rib 29 which extends around the outer periphery of the Ilip 2S in close proximity thereto. A second rib 31 depends from the member 27 and extends around the inner periphery of the lip -25 of the tube, as illustrated in FIGURES 1 and 2. The spacing between the ribs 29 and 31 and the height of the ribs are such that they engage the surfaces of the lip 25 of the tube with a frictional contact. In this regard, a portion of one or both of ribs 29 and 31 may be sloped to facilitate a wedging action. Thus, for example, rib 31 in FIGURE 1 is illustrated as having a tapered or sloping surfa-ce in an area designated 32 adjoining lip 25.
In order to stiffen the rib 31 and to thereby make possible a tighter fit around the lip 25, transverse reinforcing ribs 33 and 35 are provided, the ribs running `generally parallel to the minor axis B of the mouth of the tube. These transverse ribs 33` and 35, in addition to aiding in effecting a frictional contact between the ribs and the lip, `also provide `a plurality of test zones or basins 37 3 suitable for `carrying out spot tests when the cap 11 is removed from the tube and inverted.
In order to provide for easy removal of the cap 11, the end of the cap adjacent the ared section 21 of Vthe tube 9 illustrated, is provided with an outwardly extending section which provides a finger grip 39. In the illustrated structure, the finger `grip 39 is formed by an extension of the at cover member 27.
The cap 11 is also provided with an indexing means or keyway 40 along the periphery thereof at the `end opposite the section providing the linger grip 39. The indexing means is inthe form of a generally hemispherically shaped extension of member 27 yand rib 29 and is adapted to cooperatively receive a mating key 42 on the periphery of the lip, as illustrated Iin FIGURE 1. Key 4Z and keyway 40 aid in aligning the cap 11 correctly on the tube, so that the cap `11 can be readily sealed on the tube. The key and keyway allow the cap 11 to be dimensioned within fairly close tolerances, inasmuch as a tight t on the tube can be obtained with little difficulty.
The 4tube 9 and cap 11 can be fabricated of: any suitable material, for example, an opaque, translucent or transparent plastic. The tube 9 is preferably inexpensive, relatively rigid, and also transparent, the latter for easy viewing of contained materials and to otherwise facilitate use of the tube. Accordingly, it is preferred to construct Ithe tube of clear plastics, usually utilized in the fabrication of transparent containers. Acrylic plastics such as methyl methacrylate, cellulosics such as cellulose acetate, and cellulose acetate butyrate, polybutyrate, and polystyrene are `among the clear plastics which are suitable. These can be readily molded into desired form under conventional conditions. Glass can also be employed.
For the cap 1l it is preferred that a relatively flexible plastic material such as polyethylene be fabricated into the cap in any conventional manner. However, it should be understood that other types of plastics or other ilexible materials can be employed `for the cap.
The upper surface 44 of the cover member 27 is preferably treated so that it may be written on, or the cover may be fabricated from a material which may he readily written on for purposes of identification.
The centrifuge container which has been disclosed is particularly suitable for use with biological liquids such as urine and the like. The centrifuge container is inexpensive, and is `simple to use due, in part, to its improved shape, including its upper open flared end for easy pouring of materials, its pouring spout, and its built-in spot `test area. Moreover, it is easier to handle and store.
In use, the substance to be centrifuged may be readily poured into the enlarged mouth of the tube. The tube may be capped and stored in a test tube rack or the like until ready for treatment. In the event that it is desired to perform spot tests on the material in the tube, the cap can be removed and inverted, whereupon a few drops of the liquid in the tube may be readily poured into the Itest zones 37. Reagent may then be added to complete the spot test.
When the tube is to be centrifuged it may be inserted into a standard centrifuge tube holder or basket 41, such as is schematically illustrated in FIGURE 1. Such a basket may include a backing plate 43 which is pivotally connected by hinge 45 to the rotor (not shown) of the centrifuge. The tube is held on the backing plate 43 by means of a loosely fitting sleeve 47 which is rigidly attached to the plate 43. The tube is supported at its base by a base plate 49 which is also rigidly attached to the backing plate 43. Thus, the portion 23 of the upper end of the tube will lie forwardly of the backing plate while the pouring spout 21 will not interfere with the sleeve 47 or the plate 43. The cap 11 may be removed during centrifugation or may be left in place.
Various features of the invention are set forth in the appended claims.
What is claimed is:
1. An improved centrifuge container comprising a hollow cylindrical tube having an open upper end and a tapered closed bottom, and a cap for said tube7 said tube at its open upper end being provided with a flared mouth portion restricted to less than the entire periphery of said open upper end, the upper end of said flared mouth portion terminating in a vertically extending lip, the upper edge of said lip being generally in a single plane, said cap comprising a substantially flat cover member extending across and covering the entire open upper end of said tube, at least a portion of said cover member extending beyond the periphery of said tube and thereby forming a linger grip, and a plurality of ribs depending from the under surface of said cover member, at least some of said ribs being circumferentially disposed in frictional engagement With said open upper end whereby said cap is detachably connected to said tube, at least some of said ribs intersecting circumferentially disposed ribs so that said ribs are arranged to delineate a plurality of isolated areas suitable for spot testing materials when the cap is removed from said tube and is inverted.
2. An improved centrifuge container comprising a hollow cylindrical tube having an open upper end and a closed bottom, the upper end of said tube being provided with a flared mouth portion restricted to less than the entire periphery of said open upper end, the upper end of said flared mouth portion terminating in a vertically extending lip, the upper edge of said lip lying generally in a single plane, and a cap for said tube, said cap comprising a substantially flat cover member extending across and covering the entire open upper end of said tube, at least a portion of said cover member extending beyond the periphery of the tube and providing means for facilitating removel of the cap from the tube, and rib means on the surface of said cover member, a portion of said rib means being disposed circumferentially of said cover member and adapted to frictionally engage the open upper edge of said tube whereby said cap is detachably connected to said tube, said rib means defining at least two basins capable of retaining a small quantity of liquid for the spot testing of materials.
References Cited in the iile of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 660,746 Bausch et al Oct. 30, 1900 710,060 Kann Sept. 30, 1902 1,738,804 Stuesser Dec. 10, 1929 1,960,230 Claytor May 29, 1934 2,164,816 Harris Iuly 4, 1939 2,252,468 McQuinn Aug. 12, 1941 2,444,416 Bergman Iuly 6, 1948 2,447,330 Grebmeier Aug. 17, 1948 2,722,257 Lockhart Nov. 1, 1955 2,817,970 Whitby Dec. 31, 1957 FOREIGN PATENTS 573,877 France Mar. 19, 1924 OTHER REFERENCES i Aloe Catalog No. 103, published by Aloe Scientic Division of A. S. Aloe Co., copyright 1952, A. S. Aloe Company, St. Louis 3, Missouri, pages 236, 253, 254, and 255.