US 3297244 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 10, 1967 G. N. HEIN 3,297,244
CENTBIFUGE AND RECEPTACLE ASSEMBLY THEREFOR Filed Aug. 27, 1964 ali, [I
INVENTOR KZI 3* ATTORN EY$ United States Patent Office 3,297,244 Patentecl Jan. 10, 1967 3,297,244 CENTRIFUGE AND RECEPTACLE ASSEMBLY THEREFOR George N. Hein, 331 Chesham Ave., San Carlos, Calif. 94070 Filed Aug. 27, 1964, Ser. No. 392,567 10 Claims. (Cl. 23327) This application is a continuation-in-partof my application Serial No. 277,759, filed May 3, 1963, now Patent No. 3,244,362, granted April 5, 1966 which is a continuation-in-part of my application Serial No. 822,561, filed June 24, 1959, now Patent No. 3,096,283, granted July 2, 1963.
This invention relates to a structurally and functionally improved centrifuge as well as a receptacle assembly for use in connection with the same; the entire apparatus being intended for the centrifuging of material such as blood to reduce the latter to suitable fractions having different characteristics and which fractions will be separated one from the other by means of apparatus constructed in accordance with the present teachings.
It is a primary object of the invention to furnish a receptacle assembly for use in connection with a centrifuge and which assembly will be of economical and readily produced design, it being of primary utility when employed with a centrifuge structure of the type embraced in the present application.
A further object is that of devising a centrifuge structure which is capable of being readily employed and in which the parts will be of simple design and capable of ready assembly to furnish an apparatus capable of being used by a relatively unskilled person to reduce substances such as blood to desired fractions.
With these and other objects in mind, reference is had to the attached sheet of drawings illustrating one practical embodiment of the invention and in which:
FIG. 1 is a sectional side view of a complete centrifuge and receptacle assembly; and
FIG. 2 is a fragmentary sectional view of the receptacle in the form which it may assume prior to application to the centrifuge.
With primary reference to FIG. 1, the numeral 5 indicates a bowl-shaped member above which a cap 6 is disposed. The latter, as illustrated, is ring-shaped so as to filrnish an upper opening, the purpose of which will be hereinafter brought out. interposed between bowl 5 and the flange 8 defining the lower edge of the cap is a bezel 7 having screw threads on its inner and outer faces to engage with corresponding threads on the inner face of the bezel flange and the outer face of bowl 5. Extending upwardly from the base of the latter is a cone 9 which is preferably truncated. This together with the parts aforedescribed provides the rotor assembly of the centrifuge.
Below the latter is conveniently disposed a motor casing 11 from which a fluid conducting tube 12 extends upwa-r-dly. That tube will preferably be stationary. It lies within the bore of a drive shaft 13 which is connected to the motor at its lower end and has its upper end coupled to the bowl member 5 to rotate the latter. Fluid conducting passages 14 are furnished intermediate cone 9 and bowl 5 for purposes hereinafter brought out. A further passage or passages =16 may extend upwardly through the cone in line with the center zone thereof and communicate by vent opening 17 with this space receiving fluid from the upper end of tube 12. The foregoing provides the rotor head assembly.
This assembly receives and retains a diaphragm or member 18 conveniently formed of rubber or similar material. The retention is assured by preferably furnishing a head 19 which defines the periphery of diaphragm 18 and rests within a groove formed in the bowl. The bead is clamped into sealing relationship with the surfaces of the latter by means of a flange 20 over lying it and forming a part of bezel '7. A receptacle embracing the present novel teachings is disposed above this diaphragm member and retained in position by means of cap 6.
A receptacle constructed in accordance with the present teachings has been shown in association with the rotor head, as well as in FIG. 2. It will include a base portion 21 and an upper portion 22. Each of these parts is provided with flanges which are preferably permanently united as at 23 by fusion or otherwise. The wall defining the upper portion 22 is formed with a central perforation or slit 24 around which an upstanding flange or wall 25 is provided. This wall may conveniently flare in an outward direction to a slight degree. These parts when disposed in proper position as illustrated turn with the head assembly of the centrifuge.
A further part of the receptacle assembly includes a member embracing an outwardly extending flange 27 at its upper end from which a vertical wall extends downwardly as at 28. A base portion 29 defines the lower end of this wall and is continued in the form of an upwardly extending flange or collar 30. The height of the latter is less than that of the wall 25. Therefore, as shown, any discharge from the upper end of the latter will clear flange 30 and impinge against the surface of wall 28, with accumulations of the centrifuged material remaining within base 29. This receiving member being supported by a stationary deck such as 26, it follows that it does not rotate. Therefore, even with the centrifuge head assembly turning at rapid speed such a member may be positioned in the manner shown or removed from that position.
Attention is invited to FIG. 2 in which the receptacle has been shown in a form which it may assume prior to association with the rotor head assembly of the centrifuge. The lower portion 18 of the receptacle is flexible and when extended downwardly as at 31 lies materially below the flange zone 23. While this lower portion must incorporate flexibility, it may be opaque, translucent or transparent. The upper portion 22 is substantially rigid. Both portions are conveniently formed of plastic material. The upper portion should in all instances be transparent so that the interior thereof may be viewed by an operator. Likewise the cup involving parts 27 to 30, inclusive should preferably be formed of somewhat rigid material. In all events, it should be substantially transparent so that an operator looking from an upward position through the base of the same may view the interior of the main receptacle associated with the rotor head assembly.
The apparatus will ordinarily be employed in reducing substance such as whole blood into its components involving platelets, white blood cells, red blood cells and plasma. Under centrifuging action and as shown in the left hand side of FIG. 1, the mass of material or liquid will be reduced into a mass of red cells such as indicated at 31' and which mass will be overlain by a buflFy coat 32. A body of plasma indicated at 33 will exist radially inwardly thereof. When it is desired to discharge centrifuged material, selected masses may be caused to move in through the perforation 24 into the space defined by wall 25. This is accomplished by passing fluid through tube 12 and passages 14 to displace the lower surface of the bottom portion 21 of the receptacle in an upward direction as indicated in dash lines in FIG. 1. Such displacement will result in the plasma 33 initially moving outwardly of the remaining heavier materials through the perforation 24. The
buffy coat consisting essentially of platelets and white cells will form in a layer as indicated in the right hand side of FIG. 1 under numeral 32 so that they will be discharged through perforation 24 in advance of the other red blood cells 31'. In this connection, because of the flat portion at the apex of cone 9, the small plate let and white cell fractions are concentrated in a thin area of greatly reduced volume where they may be easily visualized for segregation.
Therefore, with the introduction of a minute additional quantity of fluid through pipe 12, further displacement will occur and the platelets will pass through the perforation opening 24 and move upwardly along the inner face of side wall 25 to be discharged above the edge of the latter. They will impinge against the opposed face of wall 28 and remain in adhesive contact with the latter. Further restriction of the receptacle capacity will result in white blood cells 34 moving in a similar manner and thereafter red blood cells. It is found that, with the employment of fluid to express the centrifuged material nicety of control is entirely feasible so that precise results may be obtained. While the present apparatus will ordinarily be used with only small quantities of material, it is obvious that by simple enlargement of the parts a far larger capacity will be feasible. In addition, apparatus of this type may be readily adopted for pipetting predetermined quantities of liquids or fractions.
Precision metering of pump fluid flow is enhanced by the relatively small clearance between the top of the tube 12 and the adjacent flat surface 35 in the spinning head. With this arrangement, no drop can form or hang on the end of the tube 12 and cause an over-adjustment of the diaphragm 18, when the drop is dislodged. With this precision and control of pump fluid, the present invention is readily adapted to pipetting applications for purposes of expelling minute aliquots of fluids contained in the receptacle subject to centrifugation. In this connection, minute amounts ml. or less) of displacing fluid pumped up the tube 12 are picked up by the spinning fiat surface 35 and are thrown radially to dis place the diaphragm 18. A successful application of this invention employed clearance between the top of the tube 12 and the flat surface 35 of about .015". For. extreme precision, .005" or less should be employed.
It is also obvious that, among others, the several objects of the invention as specifically aforenoted are achieved. Apparently, numerous changes in construction and rearrangement of the parts may be resorted to without departing from the spirit of the invention as defined by the claims.
1. A receptacle assembly for use with a centrifuge comprising a base portion and an upper portion associated therewith, at least one of said portions being formed of substantially flexible material, the upper portion being substantially light transparent and having a substantially centrally located opening, said lower portion having a centrally located upwardly extending conical portion defining a substantially truncated cone the top of which includes substantially flat annular zones in close proximity to surfaces of the upper portion defining the central opening whereby relatively small fractions of liquid to be separated by centrifugation are caused to enter the space of relatively reduced volume adjacent the central opening between the upper portion and the base of the cone upon flexing of the flexible material and the small fractions are adapted to assume relatively wide proportions in the space of relatively reduced volume and be visibly observed through the upper portion to facilitate controlled expulsion of the fractions out through the central opening.
2. The invention in accordance with claim 1 wherein said lower portion being flexible and of greater area than said upper portion and being distendable from a downwardly extending conical disposition for receiving liquids to an upwardly extending conical disposition for facilitating fractionation.
3. The invention in accordance with claim 1 wherein a perforated top member forming a part of said upper portion and an upwardly extending wall supportable with respect to said top member to assume a position substantially concentrically disposed with respect to said perforation, and said upwardly extending wall being divergent in an upward direction to facilitate removal of fractions of the liquid being centrifuged.
4. The invention in accordance with claim 3 wherein said upwardly extending wall is divergent in an upward direction to facilitate removal of fractions of the liquid being centrifuged.
5. The invention in accordance with claim 1 wherein a perforated top member forming a part of said upper portion and an upwardly extending wall supportable with respect to said top member to assume a position substantially concentrically disposed with respect to said perforation, a fraction-receiving cup encircling said upwardly extending wall.
6. A centrifuge including in combination a rotor assembly comprising a rotatably supported body, a cone member extending upwardly therein, a retaining cap having an opening mounted by said body and defining with the latter and said cone a receptacle-receiving space, a receptacle assembly within such space and comprising connected lower and upper portions, said upper portion being substantially rigid and light transparent, said lower portion being formed of flexible material and said upper portion having an opening in its body for the passage of centrifuged material, a perforated top member forming a part of the upper portion of said receptacle, an upwardly extending wall extending upwardly from said top member and concentrically disposed with respect to the perforation, said lower portion having a centrally located upwardly extending conical portion defining a substantially truncated cone the top of which includes substantially flat annular zones in close proximity to surfaces of the upper portion whereby relatively small fractions of liquid to be separated by centrifugation are caused to enter the space of relatively reduced volume adjacent the central opening between the upper portion and the base of the cone upon flexing of the flexible material and the small fractions are adapted to assume relatively wide proportions in the space of relatively reduced volume and be visibly observed through the upper portion to facilitate controlled expulsion of the fractions out through the opening of the upper portion and a fraction-receiving cup encircling said upwardly extending wall, said cup being adapted to be relatively stationary with respect to the remainder of said assembly for receiving a fraction of the liquid to be centrifuged and said cup adapted to be removed and replaced with another cup for fraction collection, a fixed support adjacent the cap opening to mount said cup to receive fractions of centrifuged material and means providing a passage for the flow of fluid to displace a portion of the receptacle within said space.
7. The invention in accordance with claim 6 wherein a concentric tube extends upwardly with its upper end terminating proximate surfaces of said rotor assembly for the upward passage of fluid into said receiving space.
8. Apparatus for separating a fluid mixture into fractions having different densities by subjecting the fluid mixture to centrifugal action comprising a rotor having an axis of rotation, drive means for rotating the rotor about the axis of rotation, said rotor having a lower coneshaped means extending upwardly therein and an upper retaining cap means having an opening and with the cone-shaped means, a receptacle-receiving recess, a receptacle assembly in said recess, said receptacle assembly comprising a lower portion and an upper portion associated therewith, at least one of said portions being formed of substantially flexible material, and one of said portions being substantially light transparent and having a substantially centrally located opening and the other portion having a substantially centrally located conical portion resting on said conical means and defining a substantially truncated cone the top of which includes substantially flat annular zones in close proximity to surfaces of the upper portion defining the central opening whereby relatively small fractions of liquid to be separated by centrifugation are caused to enter the space of relatively reduced volume adjacent the central opening between the upper portion and the base of the cone upon flexing of the flexible material and the small fractions are adapted to assume relatively wide proportions in the space of relatively reduced volume and be visibly observed through the transparent portion to facilitate controlled expulsion of the fractions out through the central opening, and means for flexing said base portion for expelling a controlled amount of the liquid contents in the receptacle assembly out through the openings.
9. Apparatus for separating a fluid mixture into fractions having different densities by subjecting the fluid mixture to centrifugal action comprising a rotatable driven rotor having concentric inner and outer annular port means and interconnecting liquid passages adapted to receive hydraulic liquid heavier than said fluid mixture, receptacle means having a central opening on said rotor for receiving the fluid mixture to be separated and having parts thereof flexible, centrifugally induced pressure means in the rotor including hydraulic liquid heavier than said fluid mixture received by the annular port means for acting on said receptacle means to flex the flexible parts thereof to reduce the capacity of the receptacle means by moving the fluid fractions centripetally and out through said central opening for controlled expulsion of the fluid contents, said central opening being circular and having a smaller radius from the center of rotation than does both of the annular port means, and means operatively associated with the receptacle means for receiving the expelled fluid.
10. A centrifuge including in combination a rotor assembly comprising a rotatably supported body, said body having an upper portion and a lower portion and a receptacle means in the upper portion for receiving liquid to be centrifuged, a flexible diaphragm mounted in the lower portion of said body and adapted to be distended upwardly to reduce the capacity of the liquid receptacle and, consequently, displace the liquid therein, said body having port means in the lower portion for communicating pumping liquid with the diaphragm to cause distention thereof, a stationary liquid conduit substantially concentrically mounted with respect to the body and communicating with the supply of said pumping liquid and having an upper and lower part and a discharge end in the upper part in relatively close proximity with lower surfaces of the lower portion of the body such that said pumping liquid is prevented from forming on the discharge end of the tube whereby accurately and controlled amounts of the pumping liquid in the order of fractions of a drop are adapted to be passed from the supply through the conduit into the port means to accurately and controllably distend the diaphragm in accurate and controlled amounts to reduce the capacity of the liquid receptacle with extreme precision.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 739,081 9/1903 Hicks 23346 X 1,949,278 2/1934 Johnson. 2,104,162 1/1938 Macklind 23320 2,186,836 1/1940 McGlaughlin. 2,412,099 12/1946 Sender 233-46 X 2,542,456 2/1951 Ayres 23319 3,096,283 7/1963 Hein 23326 X 3,104,225 9/ 1963 Di Benedetto 233-28 FOREIGN PATENTS 1,250,997 12/ 1960 France. 1,260,968 4/1961 France.
M. CARY NELSON, Primary Examiner.
HENRY T. KLINKSIEK, Examiner.