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Publication numberUS3134263 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 26, 1964
Filing dateOct 20, 1961
Priority dateOct 20, 1961
Also published asDE1523046A1, DE1523046B2
Publication numberUS 3134263 A, US 3134263A, US-A-3134263, US3134263 A, US3134263A
InventorsDe Jong Eduard B M
Original AssigneeTechnicon Instr
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Sample-supply device for automatic analysis apparatus
US 3134263 A
Abstract  available in
Images(3)
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 1964 E. B- M. DE JONG SAMPLE-SUPPLY DEVICE FOR AUTOMATIC ANALYSIS APPARATUS Filed Oct. 20. 1961 3 Sheets-Sheet 1 gOEIZOZIZ-ZIKIKOZIKDEOB "MMIINIY" 111 u av, 'I'lvnlm MAIIVWIVAIMIIMIVIIAIAIWIVMM IIIJIIA'MII'JYII! Mun run unny; vnnnunnnnunnuuunu nunuuunnnvn INVENTOR.

BY {9 I i me/wry y 26, 1964 E. B. M. DE JONG 3,134,263

SAMPLE-SUPPLY DEVICE FOR AUTOMATIC ANALYSIS APPARATUS Filed Oct- 20, 1961 5 Sheets-Sheet 2 VIII/[J INVENTOR.

May 26, 1964 E. B. M. DE JONG 3,134,263

SAMPLE-SUPPLY DEVICE FOR AUTOMATIC ANALYSIS APPARATUS Filed Oct. 20, 196]. 3 Sheets-Sheet 3 United States Patent 3,134,263 SAMPLE-SUPPLY DEVICE FOR AUTOMATIC ANALYSIS APPARATUS Eduard B. M. de Jong, Tilburg, Netherlands, assignor to Technicon Instruments Corporation, Chauncey, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed Oct. 20, 1961, Ser. No. 146,551 12 Claims. (Cl. 73-423) This invention relates to automatic liquid analysis apparatus and, more particularly, to the sample supply means for such apparatus which includes a step-wise movable turntable carrying a series of cups or other containers for the liquid samples which are presented individually to an aspiration or other suitable take-oil device for transmission of the samples in succession to the analysis apparatus.

One of the objects of the invention is to provide a sample supply device with stationary receptacle means for supplying a wash liquid between successive samples.

Another object is to provide a sample supply device with means for providing a wash liquid between successive samples from a continuously changing supply of the wash liquid.

A further object is to provide a sample supply device having means for providing a wash liquid between successive samples which is of generally improved construction and design.

The above and other objects, features and advantages of this invention will be apparent from the following description of the presently preferred embodiment of the invention considered in connection with the accompanying illustrative drawings.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a sample supply device embodying the invention with the device connected to an anlysis apparatus which is diagrammatically illustrated;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary sectional view, on a larger scale, of the portion of FIG. 1 which is enclosed by the broken line and which is designated by the arrow 2;

FIG. 3 is a perspective view, partly in section, of part of the sample supply device;

FIG. 4 is a sectional view taken on line 44 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 is a sectional view, on a larger scale, taken on line 55 of FIG. 3;

FIG. 6 is a top plan view of part of the apparatus with parts omitted; and

FIG. 7 is a vertical sectional view, on a larger scale, taken on line 7--7 of FIG. 1.

Referring now to the drawings'in detail, the sample supply device 10, briefly described, comprises a carrier here shown as a turntable 12 which is intermittently turned by suitable mechanism disposed within a housing 14, said mechanism being illustrated by FIGS. 3, 6 and 7 and hereinafter more particularly described. The turntable comprises a plate 16 which carries a series. of removable cups 18 for the liquid samples, said cups being disposed laterally of each other in a circular row. For this purpose, plate 16 is provided with a series series of holes 20 and the cups have a peripheral shoulder 22 which rests on the marginal edge of the plate around the openings through which the cup projects, as shown by FIGS. 4 and 7.

A take-oil device 24 is mounted on the top of the housing 14 laterally of the plate 16 and laterally of a stationary receptacle 26 which provides a wash liquid for the liquid samples. The receptacle is mounted on top of the housing 14-, laterally outwardly of the carrier 12. The take-off device is mounted for movement laterally to positions above the cups 18 and the receptacle 26, respectively, and is also movable up and down in said positions into and out of the cups and'receptacle, respectively,

for withdrawing the samples and wash liquid. The device includes a tubular metal crook 28 through which the take-01f tube 30 extends for connection to the pump 32 (FIG. 1) of the analysis apparatus 34 for aspiration of the sample liquid and wash liquid from the cup and receptacle, respectively, and it is to be noted that in the up or retracted position of the take-off device, the inlet end 36 of the take-off tube 30 is exposed to the air so that the take-oil device is operative to aspirate air in said retracted position because of the operation of pump 32, whereby a stream of longitudinally spaced liquid samples S is formed wherein the liquid samples are separated from each other by intervening segments of the wash liquid W disposed between a pair of air segments A, as illustrated by FIG. 2. The wash liquid segments are eifective to cleanse the walls of the tubular passages of the analysis apparatus and prevent contamination of a sample by a preceding sample and this cleansing action is an addition to the cleansing action provided by the intervening air segments.

As herein illustrated, the receptacle 26 for the wash liquid comprises a rectangular block of a suitable plastic material having a pair of open top chambers 38 and 40 interconnected to each other at their upper ends by a passage 42. Chamber 38 is provided with an inlet 44 which is adapted to be connected to a suitable source of wash liquid which may be supplied through a conduit 46 of the analysis apparatus 34 by the pump 32. Chamber 40 is provided with an outlet 48 which may be connected to a conduit 50 of the analysis apparatus for pumping the wash liquid from the receptacle by the action of pump 32. The opening 52 of outlet 48 is larger than the opening 54 of inlet 44 so that excess wash liquid which overflows into chamber 40 from chamber 38 through passage 42 is readily discharged tlnough the outlet at a faster rate than the flow of the wash liquid into the receptacle to that the inlet end of the take-off tube is disposed in the.

liquid sample for Withdrawing a portion of the sample therefrom. After a portion of the sample is withdrawn from the cup, the take-oil device is operated and moves up into a retracted position with the inlet end exposed to the atmosphere so that air is again aspirated through said inlet. The take-off device is then moved in its retracted position laterally, pivoting in a counterclockwise direc: tion as viewed in FIG. 1, to a position where the inlet end of the tube 30 is above and in alignment with chamber 38 of receptacle 26. The take-off device then moves downwardly to immerse the inlet end of the take-off tube in the wash liquid in chamber 38 for withdrawing a portion of the liquid therefrom. After said portion is withdrawn, the take-off device moves upwardly into a retracted position and in said position air is again aspirated through the take-off tube. The take-off device is then moved laterally, pivoting in a clockwise direction as viewed in FIG. 1, until the inlet end of the take-off tube is positioned above the next cup which contains the next liquid sample and it will be understood that said cup had previously been moved into position during the time that the inlet tube was withdrawn from the preceding sample cup. Indexing movement of the plate 16 occurs when the take-oil tube is withdrawn from the cups.

lateral movement of the take-oil device will now be described with respect to FIGS. 3, 6 and 7. The crook 28 is mounted on a vertical rod 56 which is movable vertically in a sleeve 53 which is mounted on the housing 14, A grooved wheel 60 is secured to the lower part of rod 56. An arm 62 is pivotally mounted at 64 to a support 66 and the arm is provided with a bifurcated end 68 which has a pair of pins 70 whose ends are disposed in the peripheral groove 72 of wheel 60. A tension spring 74, whose opposite ends are secured to the housing 14 and arm 62, respectively biases said arm into an upward position and roller 76, carried by arm 62, is biased by the spring into engagement with the cam 78 so that rotation of said cam moves the take-ofi device 24 vertically up and down in timed relation with the rotation of carrier plate 16.

1 Lateral pivotal movement of the take-off device is provided by the cam 80 which engages a roller 82 that is secured to an arm 84. One or" the ends of the arm is pivoted at 86 and the opposite end is provided with a longitudinal slot 88. A link 90 is secured at one of its ends to rod 56 and its opposite end is provided with a pin 92 which slides in slot 88 of arm 84, the latter being biased by a tension spring 94 so that roller 82 is biased into engagement with cam 80. Rotation of said cam results in the lateral back and forth movements of the takeoff device 24 in timed relation to the intermittent rotation of plate 16 and the vertical up and down movement of the take-off device.

The mechanism for turning the turntable 12 is described in detail in the US. patent application of Jack Isreeli, now US. Patent No. 3,038,340, issued June 12, 1962. As more fully described in said Isreeli patent, a Geneva gear 96 is mounted on a shaft 98 which is secured to a plate 100 of housing 14. A pinion gear 102 is mounted for rotation on shaft 98 and Geneva gear 96 is secured to the hub of said pinion gear. Gear 102 is in mesh with an intermediate gear 104 which drives a gear 106, the latter gear being secured to a drive shaft 108 to which the plate 16 is secured for intermittent rotation.

The driver for Geneva gear 96 is constituted by a pin 110 which projects upwardly from a gear 112 which is part of a speed change mechanism operated by the lever 114 shown in FIG. 6. An electric motor 116 turns a series of gears 117, which are mounted on the drive shaft of the motor and are part of the speed change mechanism, and drive gear 118 meshes with gear 112 to drive pin 110 for operating the Geneva gear 96 for intermittently rotating the plate 16.

The lateral pivotal movement and the up and down movements of the take-off device are also effected by the operation of the Geneva gear mechanism since gear 112 is in mesh with a gear 120 to which earns 78 and 80 are secured. Rotation of pin 110 and gear 112 results in the simultaneous rotation of gear 120 and the operation of cam 78 and 80 so that the operation of the take-off device is in timed relation with the intermittent rotation of the plate 16 of the turntable.

The liquid supply device is especially useful for providing a stream of liquid samples separated from each other by intervening segments of wash liquids disposed between a pair of air segments to an analysis apparatus 34 of the type shown and described in U.S. Patent No. 2,797,149 issued June 25, 1957. Briefly described, the apparatus includes the previously mentioned pump 32, which is a proportioning pump preferably of the type shown in US. Patent No. 2,935,028 issued May 3, 1960, a dialyber 122, a colorimeter 124 and a recorder 126 which is operated under the control of the colorimeter. The sample liquid stream containing the intervening wash and air segments is transmitted from the take-0E device 24 through a conduit 128 and air is introduced into the sample stream at fitting 130 to segmentize the liquid segments of the stream, as illustrated in FIG. 2, said air segments AS being effective to cleanse the walls of the tubular passages of the apparatus as previously indicated and as described in the aforementioned patent. The segmentizing air is transmitted to the fitting through con duit 132 by the action of the pump. A processing liquid is transmitted through conduit 133 and is mixed with the liquid of the sample stream in horizontal helical mixing coil 134 and is transmitted through the dialyzer 122, at one side of the membrane thereof. An air segmented recipient liquid stream is transmitted through a conduit 136 and through the dialyzer at the other side of the menbrane thereof and a dialyzate stream is formed which is transmitted from the dialyzer through a helical mixing coil 138 and then to the colorimeter 124 for colorimetric examination of the treated sample. The results of the examination are recorded on the recorder 126. The recipient stream may contain a color producing agent and is transmitted through conduit 140 while the segmentizing air is transmitted through conduit 142. The air segments in the dialyzate stream are removed from the stream by the vented tube 144 prior to colorimetric examination. The undiffused portions of the sample segmented stream are discharged from the dialyzer through outlet 146.

While I have shown and described the preferred embodiment of my invention, it will be understood that the invention may be embodied otherwise than as herein specifically illustrated or described and that certain changes in the form and arrangement of parts and in the specific manner of practicing the invention may be made without departing from the underlying idea or principles of this invention within the scope of the appended claims.

What is claimed is:

l. Liquid-sample supply apparatus, comprising a carrier for a series of liquid-sample containers, receptacle means mounted laterally of said carrier for providing a Wash liquid for the liquid-samples, a take-off device movable into and out of said containers and said receptacle means, respectively, for withdrawing the liquid samples from said containers and the wash liquid from said receptacle means, means to intermittently move said take-off device and said carrier relative to each other to position successive samples at said take-01f device, and means automatically operable in relation to said intermittent movement for moving said take-off device into and out of said containers and receptacle means, respectively.

2. Liquid-sample supply apparatus, comprising a carrier for a series of liquid-sample containers, receptacle means mounted laterally of said carrier for providing a Wash liquid for the liquid-samples, a take-01f device mounted laterally of said carrier and movable laterally thereof and movable into and out of said containers and said receptacle means, respectively, for withdrawing the liquid samples from said containers and the wash'liquid from said receptacle means, means to intermittently move said take-off device and said carrier relative to each other to position successive samples at said take-off device, and means automatically operable in relation to said intermittent movement for moving said take-off device into and out of said containers and receptacle means, respectively.

3. Liquid-sample supply apparatus, comprising a carrier for a series of liquid-sample containers, receptacle means mounted laterally of said carrier for providing a wash liquid for the liquid-samples, a take-off device movable into and out of said containers and said receptacle means, respectively, for withdrawing the liquid samples from said containers and the wash liquid from said receptacle means, means to intermittently move said take-01f device and said carrier relative to each other to position successive samples at said take-oil? device, and means automatically operable in relation to said intermittent movement for moving said take-off device into and out of said containers and receptacle means, respectively, said receptacle means having an inlet and an outlet for the continuous flow of a stream of wash liquid into and Out of said receptacle means. I

4. Liquid-sample supply apparatus, comprising a carrier for a series of liquid-sample containers, receptacle means mounted laterally of said carrier for providing a wash liquid for the liquid-samples, a take-off device movable into and out of said containers and said receptacle means, respectively, for withdrawing the liquid samples from said containers and the wash liquid from said receptacle means, means to intermittently move said takeoff device and said carrier relative to each other to position successive samples at said take-off device, and means automatically operable in relation to said intermittent movement for moving said take-off device into and out of said containers and receptacle means, respectively, said receptacle means having two chambers and a passage interconnecting said chambers above the bottoms thereof, one of said chambers having an inlet below said passage and the other of said chambers having an outlet below said passage for the continuous flow of a stream of wash liquid into and out of said receptacle means.

5. Liquid-sample supply apparatus, comprising a carrier for a series of liquid-sample containers, receptacle means mounted laterally of said carrier for providing a wash liquid for the liquid-samples, a take-off device movable into and out of said containers and said receptacle means, respectively, for withdrawing the liquid samples from said containers and the wash liquid from said receptacle means, means to intermittently move said take-oil device and said carrier relative to each other to position successive samples at said take-01f device, and means automatically operable in relation to said intermittent movement for moving said take-off device into and out of said containers and receptacle means, respectivel said receptacle means having two chambers and a passage interconnecting said chambers above the bottoms thereof, one of said chambers having an inlet opening below said passage and the other of said chambers having an outlet opening below said passage for the continuous flow of a stream of wash liquid into and out of said receptacle means, said outlet opening being larger than said inlet opening.

6. Liquid-sample supply apparatus, comprising a carrier for a series of liquid-sample containers, receptacle means mounted laterally of said carrier for providing a wash liquid for the liquid-samples, a take-off device mounted laterally of said carrier and movable laterally thereof and movable into and out of said containers and said receptacle means, respectively, for withdrawing the liquid samples from said containers and the wash liquid from said receptacle means, means to intermittently move said take-oil device and said carrier relative to each other to position successive samples at said take-off device, and means automatically operable in relation to said intermittent movement for moving said take-off device into and out of said containers and receptacle means, respectively, said receptacle means having an inlet and an outlet for the continuous flow of a stream of wash liquid into and out of said receptacle means.

7. Liquid-sample supply apparatus, comprising a rotary carrier for holding a series of open top liquid-sample containers in a row thereon, open top receptacle means mounted laterally of said carrier for providing a wash liquid for the liquid samples, a take-off device mounted laterally of said carrier and said receptacle means and movable laterally to positions above said containers and said receptacle means, respectively, and movable up and down in said positions into and out of said containers and receptacle means, respectively, for withdrawing the samples and wash liquid, means to intermittently rotate said carrier to carry said samples in succession to said take-off device, means automatically operable in relation to said intermittent movement of said carrier to move said take-off device first into and out of a container to withdraw at least a portion of the sample therefrom during a dwell period of said carrier and then into and out of said receptacle means to withdraw the wash liquid from the latter, and continuously actuated pump means operable to transmit air through said take-ofi device when said take-oil device is disposed in said samples or said wash liquid so that a stream of longitudinally spaced liquid samples are formed separated from each other by intervening segments of a wash liquid disposed between a pair of air segments.

8. Liquid-sample supply apparatus, comprising a rotary carrier for holding a series of open top liquid-sample containers in a row thereon, open top receptacle means mounted laterally of said carrier for providing a wash liquid for the liquid samples, a take-off device mounted laterally of said carrier and said receptacle means and movable laterally to positions above said containers and said receptacle means, respectively, and movable up and down in said positions into and out of said containers and receptacle means, respectively, for withdrawing the samples and wash liquid, means to intermittently rotate said carrier to carry said samples in succession to said take-ofi device, means automatically operable under the control of said rotating means in timed relation to said intermittent movement of said carrier to move said take-off device first into and out of a container to withdraw at least a portion ofthe sample therefrom during a dwell period of said carrier and then into and out of said receptacle means to withdraw the wash liquid from the latter, and continuously actuated pump means operable to transmit air through said take-oil? device when said take-off device is not disposed in said samples or said wash liquid so that a stream of longitudinally spaced liquid samples are formed separated from each other by intervening segments of a wash liquid disposed between a pair of air segments, and said receptacle means having an inlet and an outlet for the continuous flow of a stream of wash liquid into and out of said receptacle means.

9. Liquid-sample supply apparatus, comprising a rotary carrier for holding a series of open top liquid-sample containers in a row thereon, open top receptacle means mounted laterally of said carrier for providing a wash liquid for the liquid samples, a take-off device mounted laterally of said carrier and said receptacle means and movable laterally to positions above said containers and said receptacle means, respectively, and movable up and down in said positions into and out of said containers and receptacle means, respectively, for withdrawing the samples and wash liquid, means to intermittently rotate said carrier to carry said samples in succession to said take-off device, means automatically operable under the control of said rotating means in timed relation to said intermittent movement of said carrier to move said take-off device first into and out of a container to withdraw at least a portion of the sample therefrom during a dwell period of said carrier and then into and out of said receptacle means to withdraw the wash liquid from the latter, and continuously actuated pump means operable to transmit air through said take-off device when said take-ofl device is not disposed in said samples or said wash liquid so that a stream of longitudinally spaced liquid samples are formed separated from each other by intervening segments of a wash liquid disposed between a pair of air segments, and said receptacle means having two chambers and a passage interconnecting said chambers above the bottoms thereof, one of said chambers having an inlet below said passage and the other of said chambers having an outlet below said passage for the continuous flow of a stream of wash liquid into and out of said receptacle means.

10. Liquid-sample supply apparatus, comprising a rotary carrier for holding a series of open top liquid-sample containers in a row thereon, open top receptacle means mounted laterally of said carrier for providing a wash liquid for the liquid samples, a take-01f device mounted laterally of said carrier and said receptacle means and movable laterally to positions above said containers and said receptacle means, respectively, and movable up and down in said positions into and out of said containers and receptacle means, respectively, for withdrawing the samples and wash liquid, means to intermittently rotate said carrier to carry said samples in succession to said take-01f device, means automatically operable under the control of said rotating means in timed relation to said intermittent movement of said carrier to move said take-off device first into and out of a container to withdraw at least a portion of the sample therefrom during a dwell period of said carrier and then into and out of said receptacle means to withdraw the wash liquid from the latter, and continuously actuated pump means operable to transmit air through said take-off device when said take-off device is not disposed in said samples or said wash liquid so that a stream of longitudinally spaced liquid samples are formed separated from each other by intervening segments of a wash liquid disposed between a pair of air segments, and said receptacle means having two chambers and a passage interconnecting said chambers' above the bottoms thereof, one of said chambers having an inlet opening below said passage and the other of said chambers having an outlet opening below said passage for the continuous flow of a stream of wash liquid into and out of said receptacle means, said outlet opening being larger than said inlet opening.

11. Liquid-sample supply apparatus, comprising a carrier for a series of liquid-sample containers, stationary receptacle means for providing another liquid, a take-01f device movable into and out of said containers and said receptacle means, respectively, for withdrawing liquid therefrom, means to intermittently move said take-off device and said carrier relative to each other to position successive sample containers at said take-oil device, and means automatically operable in relation to said intermittent movement for moving said take-off device into and out of said containers and receptacle means, respectively.

12. Liquid-sample supply apparatus, comprising a carrier for a series of liquid-sample containers, receptacle means for providing another liquid, a take-oi? device movable into and out of said containers and said receptacle means, respectively, for withdrawing liquid therefrom, means to intermittently move said take-off device and said carrier relative to each other to position successive sample containers at said take-off device, and means automatically operable in relation to said intermittent movement for moving said take-off device into and out of said containers and receptacle means, respectively, said receptacle means having an inlet and an outlet for the continuous flow of a stream of said other liquid into and out of said receptacle means.

References Cited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,879,141 Skeggs Mar. 24, 1959

Patent Citations
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3230776 *May 31, 1963Jan 25, 1966Technicon InstrLiquid sample supply apparatus
US3251229 *Dec 26, 1962May 17, 1966Jack IsreeliLiquid-sample supply apparatus
US3252327 *Dec 24, 1963May 24, 1966Technicon InstrSample supply device for automatic analysis apparatus
US3252329 *Nov 27, 1963May 24, 1966Technicon InstrSample supply means for automatic analysis apparatus
US3266322 *Jun 15, 1964Aug 16, 1966Technicon InstrAutomatic liquid sample supply and wash apparatus for automatic analysis system
US3301065 *Mar 20, 1964Jan 31, 1967American Cyanamid CoLiquid sample supply apparatus
US3327535 *Aug 24, 1964Jun 27, 1967Sequeira Peter Jam LittlejohnsMultiple pipetting apparatus
US3342063 *Feb 23, 1965Sep 19, 1967Technicon InstrBlood-viscosity measuring apparatus
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US3479141 *May 17, 1967Nov 18, 1969Technicon CorpMethod and apparatus for analysis
US3480369 *Feb 21, 1966Nov 25, 1969Technion CorpMethod and apparatus for the colorimetric analysis of liquid samples
US3524366 *Nov 12, 1968Aug 18, 1970Ceskoslovenska Akademie VedDevice for supplying segmentized samples of a fluidal medium to an analysis apparatus
US3546946 *Jan 8, 1969Dec 15, 1970Upjohn CoFluid sample selector
US3600953 *Jul 25, 1969Aug 24, 1971Technicon CorpMethod and apparatus for the introduction of auxiliary separating fluid in fluid sample analyses means
US3628891 *Sep 14, 1970Dec 21, 1971Technicon CorpMethod for the minimization of the effects of pulsations in intermittent pumping systems
US3695281 *Nov 16, 1970Oct 3, 1972Technicon InstrMethod and apparatus for fluid injection
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Classifications
U.S. Classification73/864.25
International ClassificationG01N35/08, G01F1/704
Cooperative ClassificationG01N35/08, G01F1/704
European ClassificationG01N35/08, G01F1/704