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Publication numberUS3266322 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateAug 16, 1966
Filing dateJun 15, 1964
Priority dateJun 15, 1964
Publication numberUS 3266322 A, US 3266322A, US-A-3266322, US3266322 A, US3266322A
InventorsNegersmith Kent, Bilichniansky Theodore
Original AssigneeTechnicon Instr
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Automatic liquid sample supply and wash apparatus for automatic analysis system
US 3266322 A
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

g 1965 K. NEGERSMITH ETAL 3,

AUTOMATIC LIQUID SAMPLE SUPPLY AND WASH APPARATUS 'FOR AUTOMATIC ANALYSIS SYSTEM Filed June 15, 1964 INVENTORS Kym fiegersmzkfz A TTOR/VEY United States Patent AUTOMATIC LIQUHD SAMPLE SUPPLY AND WASH APPARATUS FOR AUTOMATIC ANALYSIS SYSTEM Kent Negersmith, Yonkers, and Theodore Bilichniansky,

Pleasant Valley, N.Y., assignors to Technicon Instruments Corporation, Chauncey, N.Y., a corporation of New York Filed June 15, 1964, Ser. No. 375,187 Claims. (Cl. 73-423) Our present invention relates to automatic liquid sample supply apparatus, and more particularly to automatic liquid sample supply apparatus for use in an automatic analysis system wherein each of a series of samples of body liquids, or other liquids, is quantitatively analyzed in respect to known ingredients therein.

An automatic analysis system for which the present invention is especially useful is disclosed in the United States Patent to Leonard T. Skeggs, No. 2,797,149, issued June 25, 1957, and an automatic liquid sample supply apparatus of the type and general construction to which the present invention relates is disclosed in United States Patent to Jack Isreeli, No. 3,038,340, issued June 12, 1962.

The automatic liquid sample supply apparatus shown by said Isreeli patent is operable, in conjunction with an aspirating pump, to automatically supply, in succession, a plurality of different liquid samples in the analysis system for the individual quantitative analysis of each sample in respect to at least one known ingredient thereof.

The object of the present invention is to provide the sample supply apparatus with means for supplying a wash liquid between successive samples as they are fed from the supply apparatus to the conduit leading to the analysis apparatus whereby to prevent or render negligible contamination of one sample by another.

The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be more fully understood from the following description considered in connection with the accompanying illustrative drawings.

In the drawings which illustrate the best mode presently contemplated for practicing the invention:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary plan view of a sample supply device or apparatus provided with the wash liquid supply device of the present invention; and

FIG. 2 is a sectional view, on a larger scale, on the line 22 of FIG. 1.

Referring now to the drawings in detail, the sample supply apparatus indicated generally by the numeral 10 is essentially of the same construction as the supply apparatus shown and described in the abovementioned Isreeli patent. Briefly described, said supply apparatus comprises a turntable plate 12 provided with a plurality of circumferentially spaced openings 14 in which cups or other suitable receptacles 16 are positioned, said cups being each provided with a peripheral shoulder 18 for supporting the cups in the respective openings. Turntable plate 12 is intermittently operated in stepwise fashion, as described in said Isreeli patent, for moving each of the cups 16 to a sample liquid take-off position, where the liquid in the respective cups is withdrawn through a polyethylene or other suitable tube 20 threaded through a metal tube 22 which is movable in timed relation to the movement of turntable plate 12, as described in said Isreeli patent. A stationary cover plate 24 overlies the receptacles 16 and is provided with a single opening 26 at the sample liquid take-01f position to permit the movement of the take-off tube 20 into and out of the receptacle 16 at the take-off position. Tube 22 in which the sample liquid take-01f tube 20 is carried for movement into and out of eachof the receptacles at the take-off position is "ice supported by member 28 which is pivotally mounted as indicated at 30 on a support 31. Tube 20 is moved into and out of each receptacle when the turntable 12 is stationary, by the mechanism shown and described in said Isreeli patent, including member 28 which is connected to and supports tube 22 and which is oscillated by the link 32 about pivot 30 by the mechanism described in said Isreeli patent.

As the sample supply device 10 does not, per se, form part of the present invention, further description thereof is considered unnecessary but may be had by reference to said Isreeli patent.

In accordance with the present invention, a receptacle 34 for a wash liquid is mounted on the sample supply device, preferably on said stationary cover plate 24. The bottom 36 of said wash liquid supply receptacle is provided with a flange 38 which fits removably in the opening 26 of the cover plate 24 and has a small opening 40 through which the polyethylene or other take-off tube 20 is movable for movement into and out of the liquid sample supply receptacle 16 at the take-off position of the turntable 12. Said receptacle 34 is also provided with a small opening 42 at the lower end of the conical part 44 of receptacle 34. Said opening 42 functions as a guide for directing the lower end of the tube 20 into the opening 40 after each withdrawal of said tube from said opening 46 when the metal tube 22 is moved to its retracted position at the end of each liquid sample takeoff operation. During the movement of tube 20 out of receptacle 16 and before said tube is moved upwardly into wash receptacle 34, air is aspirated, by the action of the abovementioned pump, into said tube through its inlet end until said inlet end is introduced into receptacle 34.

Receptacle 34 is provided with a tube 46 lWl'llCh is rem ovab-ly disposed within said receptacle in an adjusted position in which it can be releasably held by frictional engagement with the edge of opening 51 in the top of said receptacle. Tube 46 has a fluid-tight fit in and seals opening 51, and has a flange 49 which limits the extent of its movement into the receptacle.

Openings 4t and 42 are of small diameter, having a diameter of the order of a fraction of a millimeter. Opening 40 is sufficiently large to allow tube 20 to move freely therethrough but is small enough to prevent the flow of water therethrough whether or not tube 20 is positioned in said opening. The surface tension of the wash liquid, usually water, enables a suflicient head of liquid to be provided in receptacle 34, said head being adjustable by adjusting the position of the tube 46 in receptacle 34, as described above. More specifically, the wash liquid is introduced into the receptacle 34 through the opening 51, at which time the tulbe 46 may be removed from the receptacle. Said receptacle 34 may be provided with a transparent side wall or window or with a water level gauge. While the liquid is being introduced into the receptacle, opening 40 is closed in any suitable way, as by placing a finger across said opening at the bottom 38. Tube 46 is then inserted into the receptacle through opening 51 and upon uncovering opening 40 a quantity of wash liquid will flow'out of the receptacle until the head of liquid is reduced to a level at which the surface tension of the liquid is sufficient to prevent further outflow of the liquid through opening 40. At this time there is very little, if any, liquid within the tube 46 so that when wash liquid is aspirated through tube 20, air enters the receptacle 34 through tube 46, the volume of air so entering the receptacle being equal to the volume of wash liquid aspirated from receptacle 34.

In the operation of the apparatus, each time tube 22 is actuated for a liquid sample take-off operation, at which time the turntable is stationary, tube is first projected through opening into the receptacle 16 by movement of tube 22 in a clockwise direction (viewing FIG. 2). Tube 20 is positioned in receptacle 16 during the flow of the liquid from the receptacle, said liquid being aspirated from said receptacle by the above mentioned pump, as described in said Isreeli patent. Upon completion of the liquid sample take-off operation, the inlet end of tube 20 is clear of any liquid which might remain in receptacle 16, having been moved upwardly by the movement of tube 22 in a counterclockwise direction (viewing FIG. 2). Air is then automatically aspirated through said tube by the action of the aforementioned pump until the lower end of tube 20 enters receptacle 34 for the aspiration of the wash liquid, at which time the turntable 12 is moved for presenting the next receptacle at the take-off position. When said next receptacle is at the take-off position and the turntable 12 is then stationary, tube 22 is moved in a clockwise direction for moving tube 20 from the wash liquid receptacle 34 to the sample liquid receptacle 16 at said station. Thus it is seen that each sample liquid supp-lied from device 10 is separated from the wash liquid by air bubbles and that the samples are separated from each other by said air bubbles and intervening segments of wash liquid.

A sample supply device with provision for supplying a wash liquid between samples is shown and claimed in the United States Patent Ito Eduard B. M. De long, No. 3,134,263, issued May 26, 1964.

While we have shown and described the preferred embodiment of the 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:

1. Liquid-sample supply apparatus, comprising a carrier for a series of liquid-sample containers, receptacle means for providing another liquid, a take-off 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-01f device, and means automatically operable in relation to said intermittent movement for moving said take-01f device into and out of said containers and receptacle means, respectively, said receptacle having an opening and said take-oil device comprising a tube movable through a first position at which an end of said tube is disposed within said re ceptacle to a second position at which said tube extends through said opening with said end thereof disposed within one of said containers.

2. Liquid-sample supply apparatus, comprising a carr1er for a series of liquid-sample containers, receptacle means for providing another liquid, a take-off 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-oif device into and out of said containers and receptacle means, respectively, said receptacle having a bottom opening and said take-off device comprising a tube movable through said opening into and out of each of said containers when in said position at the take-ofi device, said tube being automatically movable through said opening into said receptacle when said tube is moved out of each of said containers.

3. Liquid-sample supply apparatus, comprising a carrier for a series of liquid-sample containers, stationary receptacle means for providing another liquid, a take-off device movable into and out of said containers and said receptacle means, respectively, for withdrawing liquid therefrom, means to intermittently move said take-01f 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-01f device into and out of said containers and receptacle means, respectively, said receptacle having an opening and said take-off device comprising a tube movable through a first position of which an end of said tube is disposed within said receptacle to a second position at which said tube extends through said opening with said end thereof di'sposed within one of said containers, and from said second position through said first position.

i. Liquid-sample supply apparatus, comprising a carrier for a series of liquid-sample containers, stationary receptacle means for providing another liquid, a take-off device movable into and out of said containers and said receptacle means, respectively, for withdrawing liquid therefrom, means to intermittently move said take-01f 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 having a bottom opening and said take-off device comprising a tube movable through said opening into and out of each of said containers when in said position at the take-off device, said tube being automatically movable through said opening into said receptacle when said tube is moved out of each of said containers.

5 Liquid-sample supply apparatus, comprising a carrier and a plurality of liquid-sample containers supported thereby, receptacle means mounted above 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 a container positioned at said take-off device and into and out of said receptacle means, respectively, said receptacle having an opening and said take-off device comprising a tube movable through a first position at which an end of said tube is disposed within said receptacle to a second position at which said tube extends through said opening with said end thereof disposed within a said container positioned at said take-off device, and from said second position through said first position.

6. Liquid-sample supply apparatus, comprising a carrier for a series of liquid-sample containers, receptacle means mounted above 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-ofi device and said carrier relative to each other to position successive sam ples 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 having a bottom opening and said take-off device comprising a tube movable through said opening into and out of each of said containers when in said position at the take-elf device, said tube being automatically movable through said opening into said receptacle when said tube is moved out of each of said containers.

7. Liquid-sample supply apparatus, comprising a carrier for a series of liquid-sample containers, receptacle means for providing another liquid, a take-off 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 having an opening and said take-off device comprising a tube movable through said opening into and out of each of said containers when in said position at the take-off device, said tube being automatically movable through said opening into said receptacle when said tube is moved out of each of said containers, said receptacle having means for guiding said tube for said movement thereof through said opening.

8. Liquid-sample supply apparatus, comprising a carrier and a plurality of liquid-sample containers supported thereby, receptacle means for providing another liquid, a take-off device movable into and out of said containers and said receptacle means, respectively, for withdrawing liquid therefrom, means to intermittently move said takeoff 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 having an opening and said take-off dev ce comprising a tube movable through said opening into and out of each of said containers when in said position at the take-off device, said tube being automatically movable through a first position at which an end of said tube is disposed within said receptacle to a second position at which said tube extends through said opening with said end thereof disposed within a said container positioned at said take-oft device, and from said second position through said first position; and air inlet means in said receptacle for admitting air into said receptacle to replace any liquid removed therefrom.

9. Liquid-sample supply apparatus, comprising a carrier and a plurality of liquid-sample containers supported thereby, receptacle means for providing another liquid, a take-off device movable into and out of said containers and said receptacle means, respectively, for withdrawing liquid therefrom, means to intermittently move said takeoff device and said car-rier relative to each other to position successive sample containers 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, said receptacle having an opening and said take-off device comprising a tube movable through a first position at which an end of said tube is disposed within said receptacle to a second position at which said tube extends through said opening with said end thereof disposed within a said container positioned at said take-off device, and from said second position through said first position; and means in said receptacle for predetermining the initial maximum depth or head of the liquid in said receptacle at which flow of liquid through said opening does not occur when said opening is unobstructed.

10. Liquid-sample supply apparatus, comprising a carrier and a plurality of liquid-sample containers supported thereby, receptacle means for providing another liquid, a take-off device movable into and out of said containers and said receptacle means, respectively, for withdrawing liquid therefrom, means to intermittently move said takeoff 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 having an opening and said take-off device comprising a tube movable through a first position at which an end of said tube is disposed within said receptacle to a second position at which said tube extends through said opening with said end thereof disposed within a said container positioned at said take-off device, and from said second position through said first position; predetermining the initial maximum depth or head of the liquid in said receptacle at which flow of liquid through said opening does not occur when said opening is unobstructed, said last mentioned means also providing means for admitting air into the receptacle to replace liquid removed therefrom through said tubes.

11. Liquid-sample supply apparatus, comprising a carrier for a series of liquid-sample containers, receptacle means for providing another liquid, a take-off 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 having a bottom opening and said take-off device comprising a tube movable through said opening into and out of each of said containers when in said position at the take-off device, said tube being automatically movable through said opening into said receptacle when said tube is moved out of each of said containers, and means in said receptacle for predetermining the initial maximum depth or head of the liquid in said receptacle at which-flow of liquid through said opening does not occur when said tube is removed from said opening.

12. Liquid-sample supply apparatus, comprising a carrier for a series of liquid-sample containers, receptacle means for providing another liquid, a take-off device movable into and out of said containers and said recep tacle 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-01f device, and means automatically operable in relation to said intermittent movement for moving said take-oft device into and out of said containers and receptacle means, respectively, said receptacle having a bottom opening and said take-ofi device comprising a tube movable through said opening into and out of each of said containers when in said position at the take-off device, said tube being automatically movable through said opening into said receptacle when said tube is moved out of each of said containers, and means in said receptacle for predetermining the initial maximum depth or head of the liquid in said receptacle at which flow of liquid through said opening does not occur when said tube is removed from said opening, for admitting air into the receptacle to replace liquid removed therefrom through said tube.

13. Liquid-sample supply apparatus, comprising a carrier for a series of liquid-sample containers, receptacle means for providing another liquid, a take-off 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, respec tively, said receptacle having an opening and said takeoff device comprising a tube movable through said opening into and out of each of said containers when in said position at the take-off device, said tube being automatically movable through said opening into said receptacle when said tube is moved out of each of said containers, and means in said receptacle for predetermining the initial maximum depth or head of the liquid in said receptacle at which flow of liquid through said opening does not occur when said tube is removed from said opening, said last mentionedmeans comprising a tube having one end open to the ambient atmosphere and its opposite end disposed internally of said receptacle in position above the bottom of the receptacle.

14Q Liquid-sample supply apparatus, comprising a carrier for a series of liquid-sample containers, receptacle means for providing another liquid, at take-off 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 having a bottom opening and said take-off device comprising a tube movable through said opening into and out of each of said containers when in said position at the take-off device, said tube being automatically movable through said opening into said receptacle when said tube is moved out of each of said containers, and means in said receptacle for predetermining the initial maximum depth or head of the liquid in said receptacle at which flow of liquid through said opening does not occur when said tube is removed from said opening, said last mentioned means comprising a tube having one end open to the ambient atmosphere and its opposite end disposed internally of said receptacle in position above the bottom of the receptacle.

15. Liquid-sample supply apparatus, comprising a carrier for a series of liquid-sample containers, receptacle means for providing another liquid, a take-off device movable into and out of said containers and said receptacle means, respectively, for withdrawing liquid therefrom, means to intermittently move said take-oft device and said carrier relative to each other to position successive sample containers at said take-ofi 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 having a bottom opening and said take-off device comprising a tube movable through said opening into and out of each of said containers when in said position at the take-01f device, said tube being automatically movable through said opening into said receptacle when said tube is moved out of each of said containers, and means in said receptacle for predetermining the initial maximum depth or head of the liquid in said receptacle at which flow of liquid through said opening does not occur when said tube is removed from said opening, said last mentioned means comprising a tube having one end open to the ambient atmosphere and its opposite end disposed internally of said receptacle in position above the bottom of the receptacle, said tube also providing means for admitting air into the receptacle to replace liquid removed therefrom through said tube.

References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,134,263 5/1964 De Jong 73423 LOUIS R. PRINCE, Primary Examiner.

S. CLEMENT SWISHER, Assistant Examiner.

Patent Citations
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Classifications
U.S. Classification73/864.22, 422/64, 422/510
International ClassificationG01N1/00
Cooperative ClassificationG01N35/1095
European ClassificationG01N35/10V