US 3482082 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Dec. 2, 1969 v J. ISREELI A 3,482,082
A SAMPLE INDENTIFICATION APPARATUS File d March 18, 1966 F/ G. l /4 4s 2 30 2 3 20 /2 2 0 2 20 22 i/ O/flg/ d/ij/70'6r cs; 7 1 3 -0 n03; w g /en ma 22 [5 I I h m We lmrln q a n 3 nun 0 'll nun uu o n g/6 m a 5, M
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JACK ISREELI am x ATTORNEY United States Patent Office 3,482,082 Patented Dec. 2, 1969 3,482,082 SAMPLE IDENTIFICATION APPARATUS Jack Isreeli, Marnaroneck, N.Y., assignor to Techicon Corporation, a corporation of New York Filed Mar. 18, 1966, Ser. No. 535,446 Int. Cl. G06k 19/00, 21/00 U.S. Cl. 23561.12 3 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE This invention relates to the automatic identification of articles, and more particularly to the automatic identification of containers of sample liquid in an automatic analysis apparatus.
Automatic analysis apparatus, wherein a plurality of samples are sequentially provided by a sampler, and are sequentially treated and quantitatively analysed for a selected constituent as segments of a continuously flowing stream, has been taught in U.S. Patent No. 2,797,149 issued on June 25, 1957, and U.S. Patent No. 2,879,141 issued on Mar. 24, 1959, to Leonard T. Skeggs. In a article on Multiple Automatic Sequential Analysis, Clinical Chemistry vol. 10, No. 16, October 1964, pp. 918-936, Leonard T. Skeggs and Harry Hochstrasser described an improved apparatus, wherein each sample which is provided by the sampler is divided into a plurality of fractional portions, whereby each such sample is quantitatively analyzed for a plurality of selected constituents.
As a result of these developments it is now economically feasible to routinely analyze the body fluids, of each patient who is admitted to a hospital, for a relatively large number of constituents, many more than would otherwise be requested by a physician when the analyses had to be done manually. Such additional tests frequently provide unexpected and highly useful information, leading, for example, to a more correct diagnosis and treatment of the patients condition.
Naturally, more patients and more analyses per patient increases the number of test results which must be accurately correlated. The correlation of the results of the tests of the sample from one patient to the record of a different patient may not only be inconvenient but also fatal. An apparatus wherein the identification provided on a sample container is automatically correlated to the test results on the sample from that container is taught in US. Patent Application Ser. No. 298,772 filed July 30, 1963 by Edwin C. Whitehead et al, assignor to a common assignee. Here a card was fixedly attached to the sample container and bore machine readable indicia which were read out automatically, and corresponding indicia were automatically printed on the record of test results. The exemplary indicia are Hollerith type apertures in the face of the card. An improved sampler having a read out mechanism for reading notches in the edge of a card fixedly attached to the sample container is taught in U.S. Patent Application Ser. No. 391,093, filed Aug. 21, 1964 by Jack Isreeli, assignor to a common assignee. Such an arrangement provides a more rugged and economical read out mechanism, and closer spacing together of the sample containers and their respective indicia bearing cards. A different type of sampler for supporting the sample containers, each with a respectively fixed thereto indicia bearing card is taught in U.S. Patent Application Ser. No. 421,816, filed Dec. 24, 1964 now Patent No. 3,350,946 by Jack Isreeli, assignor to a common assignee.
In each of these apparatuses the indicia bearing card or other member is fixedly and accurately pre-attached to the sample container before the sample is disposed therein. This results in a relatively high cost per sample container.
It is an object of this invention to provide a sample container and edge notched member assembly which may be flexibly combined before or substantially contemporaneously with the disposition of the sample liquid in such container, and to provide a sample which will individually and accurately support the container and the edge notched member while still flexibly combined.
Depending on the capacity of each analysis apparatus with respect to the number of different constituents for which each sample may be analyzed, it may be desirable to manually divide the sample into a plurality of sample containers, each container for a different respective apparatus; yet each container having the same identification indicia.
It is another object of this invention to provide a member which may be flexibly combined with a sample container, and which may be severed into a plurality of portions, each bearing the same edge-notched indicia, and each of which may be combined with a different additional sample container.
It is yet another object of this invention to provide such a member with additional indicia, such as Hollerith type coding, so that such members may be processed by conventional data processing equipment.
A feature of this invention is the provision of a cardlike member having one or more lines of severance whereby said member may have one or more subportions divided away from a main portion, each of said subportions bearing along an edge thereof a group of notches in an identical code sequence, and said card-like member having an additional group of machine readable indicia on the face thereof having a code significance correlated to said plurality of edge notches, and capable of being processed by conventional data processing equipment.
Another feature of this invention is the provision of support structure for a sampler having a first support means for supporting a sample container and a second support means for supporting and retaining a card-like member at a predetermined orientation with an edge thereof free of and spaced from any other structure.
These and other objects and features of this invention will be apparent from the following specification taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a front view of a card-like member embody ing this invention;
FIG. 2 is a top view in plan of a sampler having support structure for supporting a sample container and a subportion of the card-like member;
FIG. 3 is a detail of FIG. 2 in perspective showing a support structure with a sample container and a subportion of the card-like member; and
FIG. 4 is a front view in cross-section taken along plane 44 of FIG. 2.
The card-like member 10 of FIG. 1 has a plurality of lines of severance 12 provided thereon, as by scoring or embossing. Along each line of severance 12 and one edge 14 there are provided a plurality of notches 16 in an identical sequence having code significance. A topmost notch 17 may be provided for alignment test purposes during a read out operation as will be hereinafter described. The notches 16 may be V shaped, and arranged to provide six decimal digits, each decimal digit being represented in biquinary code by the presence or absence of a notch. The lines of severance divide the member into a main portion 18 and a plurality of subportions 20. As here shown, each of the main portion and the subportions has an additional plurality of Hollerith type apertures 22 arranged to provide six decimal digits, each decimal digit being represented in decimal code. Also, as here shown, each of the portions has the equivalent seven decimal digit number printed thereon in arabic numerals.
In use, the card 10 may initially be provdied with pluralities of Hollerith apertures 22 and edge notches 16 on each of the portions thereof, each plurality representing the identical number which may, for example, be either the personal identification number of the patient, or the transaction identification number of the sample. It will be appreciated that during his stay at the hospital, each patient will provide a plurality of samples for analysis, each of which should be distinguishable from the others. Thus, if the personal identification number is used, additional digits, not shown, may have to be added to the basic number, as for example representing the day and the hour the sample was taken. If a transaction number is used, this transaction number must eventually be correlated to the personal identification number. Additional information may be manually added to the card, such as the patients name, date, physician and particular tests to be performed if the analysis is not routine. At the time the sample is disposed in the sample container 30, the card 10 or at least one or more portions may be flexibly attached thereto, as by a rubber band 32 through an aperture 34 in the card. The sample in the container with the portions 20 attached thereto may then receive any pretreatment that may be required, such as centrifuging. If only one sample container is required, then only one portion 20 will be attached thereto. If the sample is to be divided and to be disposed into a plurality of containers, then one portion 20 will be attached respectively to each container.
For analysis, the sample container is mounted on a sampler which is similar to that shown in Ser. No. 421,816 supra, and in U.S. Patent No. 3,048,340, issued June 12, 1962 to Jack Isreeli. The sampler includes a tray 42 which may be indexed about a central pivot 44. A plurality of container and card support structures 46 are fixed to the upper surface of the tray adjacent its periphery. An off-take mechanism 48 having an off-take tube 50 which may be sequentially inserted into and out of each of the sample containers 30 presented thereto by the tray, is fixed to the sampler. The tube is coupled to a pump and to the treatment and analysis portions of the apparatus, not shown. A read out mechanism 52 which is similar to that shown in Ser. No. 391,093, supra, has a plurality of feeler wires 54 arranged as a comb. The mechanism is pivotally mounted at 56 to a fixed bracket 57 and a cam 58 and cam follower 59 fixed to the mechanism serve to swing the comb of feeler wires into and out of engagement with the notched edge 14 of a card portion 20. If a notch is present the adjacent feeler wire will enter therein, if a notch is not present, the edge of the card will deflect the adjacent feeler wire. The deflected feeler wires are elcetrically sensed. The topmost feeler wire 54T may be used as a level checking device in cooperation wtih the topmost notch 17, which does not have any digital significance.
The support structure 46 comprises an inner base plate 60 to which is fixed a tube 62, as by adhesive. A semiannular member 64 is fixed a tube 62, as by adhesive. Approximately 90 of the cross-section of the member 64 is relatively thick and in contact with the tube 62 along its length. Another approximately 90 of the crosssection of the member has a recess 66 formed into its inner face of a depth slightly greater than the thickness of the card 10, except for a full thickness footing portion 68. The sample container 30 may be axially inserted downwardly into the bore of the tube 62, until the bottom of the sample container rests on the base plate 60. The card portion 20 is inserted laterally into the recess 66 with the notched edge 14 trailing and the bottom 70 of the card portion resting on the footing portion 68, until the leading edge of the card abuts the end 72 of the recess. A plurality of resiliently, inwardly projecting detents or barbs 74 may be formed into the member 64 to engage the face of the card portion as it is slid into the recess, to prevent accidental movement of the card portion from the recess. A plurality of apertures 76 may be formed in each of the card portions 20 to receive the detents 74. When the card portion mus finally be removed from the recess, it may be torn past the barbs. It will be noted that the sample container and the card portion may be individually inserted into the support structure while flexibly joined together by the elastic band. Each assembly of sample container and card portion is placed in a respective support structure, and the tray is indexed to present each sample container to the off-take mechanism 48 and the respective card to the read out mechanism 52. The signals responsive to the analysis of each sample and the signals responsive to the number represented by the notches on the edge of the respective card portion are recorded in correlation.
It will be seen that the card-guiding side walls which are provided by the outer wall of the tube 62 and the inner wall of the recessed semi-annular member 64, guide the trailing edge subportion of the card portion 20 relatively radially with respect to the annular ring of support structures 46, thereby permitting the support structures to be spaced closely adjacent each other. Although the arrangement here shown in FIG. 2 shows the cards projecting inwardly at about 30 to the radiu of the ring, this is done for convenience in the mounting of the read out mechanism 52. It will be appreciated that the support structures, within the scope of this invention, may also be arranged to project the cards outwardly for a read out mechanism located outside the ring, and/ or at an angle closer to or identical with the radius of the ring.
Before the card 10 is utilized for the identification of a particular sample container, the Hollerith type indicia permit it to be processed by conventional Hollerith type data processing equipment. After one or all of the portions 20 have been removed, the main portion 18 has both the Hollerith type indicia and the edge notched indicia plus any other information provided thereon. and serves as a permanent record of the identity of the number represented by the Hollerith type indicia and the edge notched indicia, and may still be processed by conventional data processing equipment.
It will be appreciated that the Hollerith type indicia 22 on each of the card portions 20 will permit such a card portion to be used with a conventional Hollerith type read out mechanism, and, therefore, permits such cards to be used with sample containers in a sampler having either kind of read out mechanism.
What is claimed is:
1. A card-like member having one or more parallel lines of severance to have one or more subportions divisible away from a main portion thereof, each of said subportions bearing along an edge thereof defined by said lines of severance a group of notches in an identical coded sequence, and said card-like member and one or more of said subportions having an additional group of machine readable coded indicia in the form of a first aperture pattern in respective interior face portions thereof having a coded significance corre ated to said group of edge notches, and capable of being processed by conventional data processing equipment. and one or more of said subportions including a second 5 6 aperture pattern in respective interior face portions for References Cited positioning such subportions when divided away from UNITED STATES PATENTS said main portion.
2. A card-like member according to claim 1 wherein 2,342,517 2/1944 w 235 said main portion has said additional group of machine 2,371,008 3/1945 whlm'ssey 235-6112 XR readable indicia 5 3,162,468 12/1964 Jonker 235-6112 XR 3. A card-like member according to claim 1 wherein each of said subportions has a respective said additional MAYNARD Primary Exammer group of machine readable indicia. SOL SHEINBEIN, Assistant Examiner