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Publication numberUS3388043 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJun 11, 1968
Filing dateJun 1, 1965
Priority dateJun 1, 1965
Publication numberUS 3388043 A, US 3388043A, US-A-3388043, US3388043 A, US3388043A
InventorsIngvorsen Helmuth
Original AssigneeNunc As
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Bacteriological sampling set
US 3388043 A
Abstract  available in
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

June 11, 1968 H. INGVORSEN BACTERIOLOGICAL SAMPLING SET 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 Filed June 1, 1965 g l m INVENTOR 'wru ATTORNEYS June 11, 1968 H. INGVORSEN BACTERIOLOGICAL SAMPLING SET Filed June 1, 1965 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR BY Jana, M, $00510 ATTORNEYS 3,388,043 BAQTERHOLOGlCAL SAMPLING ET Heimnth lngvorsen, Roshilde, Denmark, asslgnor to A/S Nunc, Roskilde, Denmark Filed dune l, 1965, Ser. No. 460,235 ll Claims. (Cl. 195139) ABSTRAiIT (IF THE DES-CLOSURE A bacteriological sampling set comprising an elongated open-ended enclosure with a cover closing the open end. A substrate tube containing gelatinous substrate material is secured within the elongated enclosure. A sampling stick located in the substrate tube extends from one end thereof, is folded upon itself outside the substrate tube at a weakened zone. A slidable sleeve is mounted on the stick to reinforce the stick when it is unfolded and extended for use. A cap is provided for the open portion of the substrate tube during transportation. The cap may have a groove for receiving the bent-over end of the stick.

This invention relates to a bacteriological sampling set for taking a sample and dispatching it to another place such as a laboratory for listing.

A bacteriological sampling set for use in the taking and dispatch of a sample to be listed in respect of gonococcus or the like is known which consists of a sealed glass tube containing a jelly-like substrate and being adapted to be dispatched in a wrapping at the option of the person handling the sample, as well as a sterilized wooden stick wrapped in a separate enclosure and provided at one end with a pad of cotton wool or similar material.

When taking the bacteriological sample, the portion of the stick provided with the pad of cotton wool is brought into contact with the organ from which a secretion sample is to be taken and then this portion of the stick is introduced into the substrate in the tube after the upper portion of the latter has been cut off. The portion of the stick protruding from the glass tube is then broken off whereafter the open end of the glass tube is closed, for instance by means of a stopper or cotton wool. When the tube reaches the laboratory where the sample is to be tested the broken stick must be removed. This is difficult because the end of the stick is present in the open end of the tube so that the person to remove the stick may easily get into contact with the portion of the stick on which the secretion sample is present, or with the substrate itself. Moreover the stopper frequently does not offer adequate security against the penetration of bacteria into the tube during transportation of the sample.

It is the object of the present invention to provide a bacteriological sampling set constituting a self-contained unit and still not requiring substantially more space than the tube itself, and by means of which sampling set the introduction and removal of the sampling stick and the closing of the tube are substantially facilitated so that the danger of infection during the handling of the sample is substantially eliminated.

With this object in view, according to the invention, a bacteriological sampling set is provided which comprises an elongated enclosure having an open end, a cover for closing said open end, a substrate tube within said enclosure, a sampling stick made from plastic and constructed with a notch permitting the stick to be folded upon itself about an axis through the zone weakened by said notch, a sleeve slidably mounted on said stick, and a cylindrical or prismatic cap the lower portion of which is shaped to enclose the upper portion of said substrate tube during transportation. Preferably, according to the invention, said cap is constructed with a downwardly diverging groove for receiving the bent-over end of said stick States Patent Patented June 11, 1968 after the other end thereof has been introduced into said substrate tube.

The sampling stick made from plastic may be folded upon itself in such a manner that the folded body will have a length substantially corresponding to that of the tube. Consequently the sampling stick can be dispatched together with the tube in the enclosure without having to increase the length of the latter substantially beyond that required for accommodating the tube. The stick is preferably made from polypropylene which has the characteristic of being additionally strengthened in the zone of the notch by the repeated bending taking place in this zone, presumably as a consequence of a certain molecular orientation created in this zone by the bending stresses. The zone in question will therefore act as a strong hinge. When the doctor is to use the sampling stick, he removes this from the enclosure in which it is arranged in a foldedup position in a sealed bag of foil by the side of the substrate tube. The doctor then straightens out the stick and pushes the sleeve down to the zone of the notch so that the hinge is blocked and the stick acquires the desired length. By suitably selecting the thickness of the sampling stick and the inner diameter of the sleeve, the sleeve may be made relatively readily slidable on the stick but will nevertheless remain in the position in which it has been adjusted.

The sleeve is preferably mounted on the portion of the stick which in the straightened position of the latter is present above the notch, and a shoulder preventing the sleeve from sliding past the notch may suitably be provided immediately below the notch. The lower portion of the sampling stick is preferably of smaller diameter than the remaining portion of the stick and may be constructed on its outer surface with a plurality of rows of small knobs. These serve to attach a pad of cotton wool before putting the stick into the bag. However, if desired, a different porous material, such as a piece of foam plastic, may be attached to the lower end of the stick.

After the secretion has been applied to the cotton wool pad of the sampling stick the lower end of the stick is introduced into the substrate after the upper portion of the latter has been cut off.

The upper portion of the stick may then either be cut off in the zone of the notch, or it may be bent over along the side of the substrate tube after the sleeve has been slid away from the notch. Thereafter the substrate tube is put into the enclosure which is preferably cylindrical and provided at its bottom with an insert member forming a support for the substrate tube which is thereby prevented from moving in a lateral direction. The cap is now applied so as to enclose the upper portion of the substrate tube, thereby also preventing this portion from moving in a lateral direction. If the upper portion of the sampling stick has not been cut off but bent over, the bent over portion will be received in the downwardly diverging groove if this is provided. A grooved cap may also be used if the upper portion of the sampling stick is out 01f since the width of the groove is small as compared with the diameter of the cap. Consequently the substrate tube will also in this case be substantially prevented from moving in the lateral direction. After the cover has been applied to the enclosure the substrate tube will also be prevented from substantially moving in the longitudinal direction of the enclosure. In the upper portion of the cap a pad of plastic may be arranged serving to attenuate movement of the sampling stick in the longitudinal direction if the enclosure is subjected to shocks or blows. To obtain a similar elastic support in the lower part of the enclosure, the insert member provided in this position is preferably constructed with three uniformly spaced projections supported on the bottom of the enclosure whereby a certain elasticity is obtained if the insert member is made from plastic with a relatively small wall thickness. The substrate tube and the sampling stick are thus sufficiently protected against shocks and blows to which the enclosure may be subjected during transportation.

Preferably the substrate in the substrate tube has a jelly-like consistency but it may also be in the form of a viscose liquid.

To take up the vapours dissipated from the substrate during transportation, which vapours might otherwise be condensed on the inner wall of the enclosure, porous pads, for instance of paper, may be provided at the top and bottom of the enclosure.

If the substrate has a consistency such that leakage mm the tube is likely to occur during transportation, a hollow stopper may he slid onto the sampling stick after the upper portion of the latter has been cut off.

This stopper may be constructed on its outer face with a plurality of annular, radially projecting thin flanges having diameters decreasing in the longitudinal direction of the stopper. When this stopper is slid onto the sampling stick with the flange having the smallest diameter at the bottom, a satisfactory degree of sealing may be obtained by introducing the stopper into tubes of varying inner diameter because the flanges, which are preferably made from polyethylene and are therefore readily flexible, will assume a position corresponding to the inner diameter of the substrate tube. This stopper is also used in such cases where it is considered essential to reduce evaporation from the substrate, during transportation, to a minimum.

To obtain a suitable friction between the sleeve or the stopper and the sampling stick, the sleeve and the stopper are preferably constructed on their inner sides with a plurality of longitudinally extending parallel projections engaging the surface of the stick.

If the cover of the enclosure is a screw cover, the attachment of this cover is likely to cause rotation of the cap with the bent-over sampling stick accommodated therein as a consequence of the friction between the cap and the cover.

By such rotation of the sampling stick in the jellylike substrate air passages are formed in the substrate. If the sampling set is used for the dispatch of samples to be tested in respect of gonococcus, the occurrence of such air passages may result in extermination of a con siderable proportion of the gonococcus.

To avoid such rotation of the cap and the sampling stick during application of the screw cover, the cap may, according to a preferred embodiment of the invention, be constructed on its outer face with a plurality of axially extending ribs, the outer portion of which may be slid into corresponding axially extending grooves in the inner wall of the enclosure. When using such a cap, no rotation of this will take place even if a certain friction occurs between the upper portion of the cap and the screw cover.

According to another preferred embodiment of the invention, in order to avoid leakage of fluid given off by the substrate or of the substrate itself during transportation, the sampling set further comprises an inner cap adapted to be placed around a cut-off sampling stick introduced into said substrate tube, the outer face of said inner cap being constructed in its upper portion with a plurality of ribs holding said inner cap in a central position in said first mentioned cap, and being constructed in its lower portion with a plurality of peripheral, radially projecting flanges adapted upon introduction of said inner cap into the opening of said substrate tube to be pressed against the inner wall thereof. Thus the substrate tube and the inner can combine to form a closed space from which substantially no leakage of fluid or substrate may take place. Since the upper portion of the said inner cap is additionally held in a central position in the outer cap by means of the said ribs, the inner cap will be held securely in position even if the set is subjec ed to strong shocks during transportation.

The invention will now be described in further detail with reference to the accompanying drawings in which FIG. 1 shows one form of a. sampling set according to the invention after a sample has been taken, as seen in side view and partly in section,

FIG. 2, a section along the line IL-ll in FIG. 1,

PEG. 3, a sampling stick with a transparent sleeve, in side view,

FIG. 4, a longitudinal section on an enlarged scale through a hollow stopper for mounting on a sampling stick,

FIG. 5, a section along the line VV in FIG. 4,

FIG. 6, a second form of a sampling set according to the invention as seen in side View and partly in section,

FIG. 7, a cross-section along the line VIIVH in FIG- URE 6 and,

FIG. 8, a cross-section along the line VIIIVlII in FIG. 6.

In FIGS. 1 to 3, 1 is an elongated enclosure or container, for instance made from shatter-proof polystyrol, and 2 is a cover belonging to the enclosure which cover may be made from polypropyleneln the enclosure a substrate tube 3 is provided which is supported at its bottom in an insert member 4 while the top of the tube is received in a cap 5 constructed with a downwardly diverging groove 6. The cap 5 is received in a collar 7 on the bottom face of the cover 2. In the tube 3, which contains a jelly-like substrate, a sampling stick 8 is present, which, is illustrated in bent-over position in FIG. 1, and the upper portion of which is accommodated in the down.- wardly diverging groove 6. The sampling stick 8 is provided with a slidable sleeve 9 which may be slid down across a notch 10 of the stick so as to engage a shoulder 11. The lower end of the sampling stick 8 has a smaller diameter than the remaining portion of the stick and is constructed with a plurality of knobs 12.

In the upper portion of the cap 5 a pad 13 of resilient material, such as foam plastic, is provided.

The insert member 4 is constructed on its bottom face with three uniformly spaced projections 14 which are supported on the bottom of the enclosure 1. Rings 115 of an absorbing material such as paper are provided in the cap 2 and around the insert member 4, said rings serving, in the closed state of the enclosure, to absorb moisture dissipated from the substrate in the tube 3.

FIGS. 4 and 5 show a hollow stopper 15, the outer face of which is constructed with annular flanges 16 of varying diameters. The inner diameter of the stopper corresponds to the thickness of the sampling stick so that the stopper may he slid onto the latter. In order to obtain a suitable friction between the sleeve 9 or the hollow stopper 15 and the sampling stick 3, the sleeve and the hollow stopper are constructed, as illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5 as far as the hollow stopper is concerned, with longitudinal parallel inwardly projecting edges 17 for engaging the outer surface of the sampling stick 8.

When the doctor receives the sampling set, the sampling stick 8 will be present in folded-up position inside the enclosure by the side of the closed substrate tube 3, and the hollow stopper 15 will likewise be present in the enclosure. Both are located in a sealed bag of foil material.

Upon removal of the cover, the sampling stick is taken out of the enclosure and is straightened out whereafter the sleeve 9 is slid across the notch 10 to engage the shoulder 11. A pad of sterilized cotton wool or similar material is provided around the portion of the sampling stick 8 constructed with the knobs 12. After the secretion sample has been taken, the portion of the sampling stick 8 provided with the cotton wool pad is introduced into the substrate tube after this has been removed from the enclosure and has had its top cut off. The sleeve 9 is then slid onto the upper portion of the sampling stick 8 whereafter the latter may be folded upon itself or cut off in the zone of the notch 10. The cap 5 is applied and the substrate tube is introduced into the enclosure whereafter the cover 2 is applied to the latter. The sampling set may now be displatched without danger of contamination of the substrate to the laboratory where the sample is to be tested. Here the sampling stick 8 may easily be removed after the cover 2 and the cap 5 have been taken off.

If the substrate is so liquid that it may leak out of the substrate tube during transportation, or if it is desired to reduce evaporation from the substrate during transportation to a minimum, the hollow stopper may be slid onto the sampling stick 8 after the upper portion thereof has been cut off and may be pushed so far into the opening of the tube as to obtain a suitable degree of sealing against the walls of the upper portion of the tube. Such sealing may be obtained notwithstanding variations of the inner diameter of the substrate tube by first introducing the portion of the stopper where the flange has the smallest diameter, and adjusting the extent to which the stopper is pushed into the tube in accordance with the dimensions of the opening of the tube.

In FIG. 6, 18 is an enclosure provided with a screw cover 19. A substrate tube 20 filled with a substrate of jelly-like consistency is provided in the enclosure and is supported at its bottom in an insert member 21. An outer cap 22 is provided on the upper portion of the substrate tube 20 and is constructed on its outer face with three axially extending ribs 23 engaged in three corresponding grooves 24 in the inner wall of the enclosure 18, said grooves extending in the whole length of the enclosure and thereby holding the insert member 21 in position at the bottom of the enclosure. The outer cap 22 is constructed with a downwardly and outwardly diverging groove 25 adapted to receive a bent-over portion of a sampling stick 26 if this has not been cut ofl in the zone of a notch of the sampling stick, such as illustrated in the drawing. The upper portion of the outer cap 22 is received in a collar 27 on the bottom face of the screw cover 19, thereby to hold the cap 22 in a central position and to ensure that it will enclose the upper portion of the substrate tube 20. Around the collar 27 and the insert member 21 two rings 28 and 29 of an absorbing material are provided, said rings serving to absorb moisture that may be dissipated from the substrate and escape from the substrate tube.

In the embodiment illustrated the opening of the substrate tube is closed by means of an inner cap 30 which completely encloses the portion of the cut-off sampling stick 26 present outside the substrate tube. The upper portion of the inner cap 30 is constructed on its outer face with four ribs 31 holding the upper portion of the cap 30 in a central position in the outer cap 22. On the outer face of the lower portion of the cap 39, three peripheral, radially projecting flanges 32 are provided which engage the inner face of the upper portion of the substrate tube 20.

When using the sampling set illustrated in FIGURES 6 to 8, after the secretion sample has been taken by means of the sampling stick 26, the lower end of the latter is then cut off at its notch and the inner cap 30 is slid into the remaining part of the stick until the flanges 32 are pressed into the opening of the substrate tube 20. The outer cap 22 is now mounted on the inner cap 30 by engaging the ribs in the grooves 24. When the screw cover 19 is applied no rotation of the inner cap and hence no rotation of the sampling stick will take place even if a certain friction should occur between the upper portion of the outer cap 22 and the collar 27.

In this manner the formation of air passages in the substrate is avoided so that the gonococcus that may be present in the substrate are not subjected to the influence of the atmosphere. At the same time the opening of the substrate tube is closed by the inner cap 30.

I claim:

1. A bacteriological sampling set comprising an elongated enclosure having an open end, a cover closing said open end, a substrate tube within said enclosure, substrate in said substrate tube, a sampling stick made from plastic and constructed with a notch permitting the stick to be folded upon itself about an axis through the zone weakened by said notch, a sleeve slidably mounted on said stick, and a cylindrical or prismatic cap the lower portion of which is shaped [to enclose] such that it encloses the upper portion of said substrate tube during transportation.

2. A bacteriological sampling set as in claim 1 in which said cap is constructed with a downwardly diverg ng groove for receivin the bent-over end of said stick after the other end thereof has been introduced into said substrate tube.

3. A bacteriological sampling set as in claim 1 in which a collar is provided on the bottom face of said cover of said enclosure for holding the upper portion of said cap in a central position.

4. A bacteriological sampling set as in claim 1 in which a pad of resilient material is provided in the upper portion of said cap.

5. A bacteriological sampling set as in claim 1 in which an insert member is provided in the lower portion of sa d enclosure, the upper face of said insert member being constructed with a collar to hold the lower end of said substrate tube, the bottom face of said insert member being constructed with three uniformly spaced projections supported on the bottom of said enclosure.

6. A bacteriological sampling set as in claim 1 in which the substrate in said substrate tube has a gelatinous consistency.

7. A bacteriological sampling set as in claim 1 in which rings of a moisture absorbing material are provided in the cover and/or at the bottom of said enclosure.

8. A bacteriological sampling set as in claim 1 and further comprising a hollow cylindrical stopper constructed on its circumferential surface with annular flanges having diameters decreasing in the longitudinal direction of said stopper, said stopper being adapted to he slid on to said sampling stick after the latter has been severed at said notch.

9. A bacteriological sampling set as in claim 1 in which longitudinal parallel projecting edges are provided in the inner surface of said sleeve and/or said hollow stopper.

10. A bacteriological sampling set as in claim 1 in which a plurality of axially extending ribs are provided on the outer surface of said cap, said ribs being adapted to be slid into corresponding axially extending grooves in the inner wall of said enclosure.

11. A bacteriological sampling set as in claim 10 and further comprising an inner cap adapted to be placed around a cut-off sampling stick introduced into said substrate tube, the outer face of said inner cap being constructed in its upper portion with a plurality of ribs for holding said inner cap in a central position in said first mentioned cap, and being constructed in its lower portion with a plurality of peripheral, radially projecting flanges adapted upon introduction of said inner cap into the opening of said substrate tube tobe pressed against the inner wall thereof.

No references cited.

ALVIN E. TANENHOLTZ, Primary Examiner.

N. ROSKIN, Assistant Examiner.

Non-Patent Citations
Reference
1 *None
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3621994 *Nov 25, 1969Nov 23, 1971Metropolitan Pathology Lab IncLaboratory specimen mailer
US3750646 *Dec 16, 1971Aug 7, 1973Patterson CTransport system for bacteria with provisions for carbogenophilic organisms
US3876503 *Oct 29, 1971Apr 8, 1975Frederick C MennenMethod and instrument for the detection of neisseria gonorrheae without culture
US3890954 *May 8, 1973Jun 24, 1975U S Medical Research & Dev IncMethod of and apparatus for collecting cultures
US3913564 *Apr 24, 1974Oct 21, 1975Richard C FreshleyAnaerobic specimen collecting and transporting device
US4014746 *Jun 23, 1975Mar 29, 1977U.S. Medical Research And Development, Inc.Method of and apparatus for collecting cultures
US4027658 *Dec 1, 1975Jun 7, 1977Manly Ernest MarshallInstrument for taking samples
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WO1994005416A1 *Sep 9, 1993Mar 17, 1994Virginia Mason ClinicBlood transport apparatus
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Classifications
U.S. Classification435/309.1, 206/569, 600/572, 206/205
International ClassificationC12M1/28
Cooperative ClassificationA61B10/0045, G01N1/10, C12M33/00, A61B10/02, A61B2010/0074, G01N2001/005, G01N2001/028
European ClassificationC12M1/28