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Publication numberUS3519364 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 7, 1970
Filing dateFeb 2, 1968
Priority dateFeb 2, 1968
Publication numberUS 3519364 A, US 3519364A, US-A-3519364, US3519364 A, US3519364A
InventorsTruhan Andrew
Original AssigneeTruhan Andrew
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
US 3519364 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

July 7, 1970 Filed Feb. 3. 1968 A. TRUHAN 3,519,364

APPLIGATOR 2 Sheets-5heet 1 INVENT OR ANDREW TRUHAN ATTORNEYS United States Patent 3,519,364 APPLICATOR Andrew Truhan, RD. 3, Box 392T, Somerset, NJ. 08873 Filed Feb. 2, 1968, Ser. No. 702,664 Int. Cl. A61m 35/00 US. Cl. 401-177 2 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE An applicator/swab defined by an elongated tube whose bore is partially filled with a solution. An absonbent wadding is placed around the lower end of the tube, and a plunger within the bore is pushed by the user so as to cause exit of the solution to pass from the bore into the wadding. The wadding is now ready for use as an applicator or swab. In a modification, no plunger is used and the lower end of the tube is fractured to release the solution into the wadding.

This invention generally relates to applicators and/or swabs which contain a reservoir for storage of certain liquid compositions having many and varied applications. The device is particularly useful in that the stored liquid and the applicator per se may be maintained in a sterile condition up to the time of use.

In one aspect the invention relates to a testing device and more particularly to a device for facilitating the culture and subsequent analysis of different types of microorganisms obtained in situ from a living organism such as the human body.

The liquid contained within the applicator may comprise an antiseptic, an antibiotic, an antifungistat or mixtures thereof; cosmetics such such as liquid rouge, liquid lipstick, liquid powder or mascara; or deodorant or personal hygiene substances.

It will be appreciated that one of the primary advantages of the applicator of the invention lies in its single use application, which reduces to a minimum the spread of disease and infection caused by plural use of an applicator.

In the treatment for example of human disease it is often desirable to identify the type of bacteria responsible for an infection. Identification in such cases may be accomplished by growing a culture of bacteria taken from the locus of the infection to thereby facilitate its accurate classification. Further, the preparation or growing of a culture not only enables identification to be made, but certain antibiotics may be applied to the adult culture in order to determine the most effective type which will destroy the particular strain or type of 'bacteria or other microorganism involved. In addition to cultures of bacteria; cultures of cells may also be made in order to observe the effect of distinct virus types on the cells.

According to the practice of this aspect of the invention, a nutrient solution is caused to impregnate an absorbent fibrous or batt material to thereby provide a ready base for growth of a culture. The nutrient solution and the absorbent batt material define the medium for the culture. In general, the nutrient carrier according to this invention is generally elongated and resembles a common swab of cotton placed on the end of a thin stick. A supply of nutrient liquid is stored in the bore of a generally thin-walled and elongated plastic cylinder or tube. A plunger in the form of an elongated piston closes one end of the cylinder while the other end is closed by a plug. The plug may be axially displaceable to thereby permit exudation or discharge of the liquid nutrient from the cylinder when the plunger is pushed, or the plug may be frangible upon an increase of pressure within the bore. In general, the batt or any other fibrous material has the property of absorbing the liquid nutrient after it exists from the cylinder bore.

In the drawings:

FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of the applicator according to the practice of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1 but showing a second modification;

FIG. 3 is a view taken along the line 3-3 of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 1 and showing a third modification;

FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 1, but showing a fourth modification; and

FIG. 6 is a view similar to FIG. 1, but showing a fifth modification.

Referring now to the drawings, the numeral 10 denotes generally an applicator according to this invention and is defined by an elongated cylindrical element 12 conveniently formed of plastic and having relatively thin walls. A ring 14 may be integrally attached to the external wall portion of the cylinder in order to provide an abutment for the fingers. The numeral 16 denotes an elongated plunger, which may be also formed of plastic and which is provided at its upper end with a disc 18 adapted to 'be engaged by the palm or the thumb of the user and whose lower end 20 is generally planar. The numeral 22 denotes a liquid solution which may be any one of a great variety of com-positions. In general, the solution 22 may be characterized as a medium which contains the various minerals, vitamins, proteins, etc., required to support growth of living organisms such as bacteria.

The numeral 24 denotes a plug which closes the lower end of the cylinder 12, the solution 22 effectively encapsulated between the upper portion of plug 24 and the lower portion of the piston 16 may abut another plug, similar to plug 24, instead of directly contacting the upper portion of the encapsulated solution 22. The numeral 26 denotes a wad of batt or other fibrous material, either woven or non-woven and which may be so wrapped or otherwise placed on the end of cylinder 12 to define a limited cavity 28 which communicates with the closed end of cylinder 12. In general, the material 26 may be defined as any material which may be conveniently placed on the end of cylinder 12 and which is absorbent. In addition to cotton, the absorbent pad, wad or batt may comprise silicone or polysiloxane resins, spun fiber or other similar generally inert material.

In a typical use of the device of FIG. 1, the applicator 10 is packaged within a cellophane or the like container in order to maintain the batt relatively sterile or free of dirt, bacteria, moisture, and the like. As set forth above, the device may be shipped and stored encased in an envelope, preferably of brown-colored plastic, to render it substantially opaque, and the envelope may be filled with an inert gas such as nitrogen, which has no effect on the reagent maintained within the bore of the applicator. The reagent is thus protected from the deteriorating effects of light, and the exclusion of oxygen and moisture within the envelope by filling it with nitrogen protects the reagent against oxidation and the like. Thus, the shelf life of the enveloped device is greatly prolonged. The applicator 10 is removed and grasped by the user in such a way that the elongated piston 16 may be pushed downwardly so as to increase the pressure within liquid 22. When the pressure reaches a predetermined amount, the plug 24 is forced from the end of the cylinder 12 into the cavity 28. This is immediately followed by the exudation of the solution 22 into the interior of the batt wad 26. After a limited period of time, the liquid 22 completely permeates or saturates the wadding and at this time the wadding, if the solution is a nutrient, is inoculated, as by actual contact, with bacteria or other living organisms (these organisms being termed the inoculum) which are to be grown. The entire applicator may now be placed in a suitable culture forming environment which is generally a closed chamber with controlled humidity, temperature, and other thermodynamic parameters.

As known to analysts in this field, the mature culture may be examined by well known techniques and apparatus in order to both identify the organisms and also to conduct in vivo experiments on the microorganisms for the most effective type of drugs to control their growth.

Referring now to FIG. 2 of the drawings, the reader will recognize the similarity with the embodiment of FIG. 1. This second embodiment differs in the absence of the recess or cavity 28 in the batt material and in the presence of a plurality of radially disposed holes or openings in the lower portion of the tube 12. FIG. 3 shows generally the angular configuration of these apertures and the reader will gras that with motion of the plunger 16 the plug 24 will be moved downward to such an extent that the fluid 22 will be in communication, successively, with the various axially displaced series of holes 30. This arrangement assures a rather uniform dispersion or application of the fluid throughout the length of the batt wadding 26.

Referring now to FIG. 4 of the drawings, still another modification is illustrated wherein the lower portion of the tube or cylinder 12 is radially expanded and denoted by the numeral 120. The numeral 200 denotes a movable plug of a diameter greater than the upper diameter of the elongated piston 16 and which is positioned at the top surface of the solution 220. The lower portion of the piston is flared to engage the top of plug 200. The numeral 240 denotes a lower plug which seals the solution within the expanded lower portion of the cylinder. Again, the numeral 26 denotes wadding of the same type described with respect to the previously described embodiments and the general mode of operation and cooperation of elements is here substantially the same. By virtue of the expanded diameter of the lower portion of the cylindrical element 12, a greater volume of solution 220 may be impregnated into or exuded into the wadding 26 with the same or lesser longitudinally moving of the piston 16 with respect to the cylinder 12.

Referring now to FIG. of the drawings, an embodiment of the invention is shown which is similar to the embodiment illustrated at FIG. 2 with the addition of a separate encapsulating compartment for a second solution. The numeral 20 denotes a first movable plug which may, as above noted, he simply the bottom of the elongated plunger 16. The numeral 22 denotes a first volume of solution of a first type or sort. The numeral 40 denotes a second or intermediate slidable plug positioned as illustrated within the bore of cylinder 12. The numeral 42 denotes a second volume or body of a solution of a second type and is positioned between plug 40 and a third movable plug 24. In use, the plunger 16 is pushed downwardly and with suflicient downward motion both liquids 42 and 22, successively, penetrate the wadding 26 in substantially the same manner as that set forth with respect to the embodiment of FIG. 2. It will be observed that solutions 22 and 42 may be, for a specific intended use or a specific group of living organisms, incompatible and hence require separation while stored. That is to say, under certain conditions or intended uses, two distinct media may be required, each media contributing its own chemical or nutritional effect to the whole. By the use of the intermediate plug 40, two distinct encapsulation chambers are defined for the media 22 and 42.

Referring now to FIG. 6 of the drawings, yet another embodiment of the invention is illustrated. The numeral 12 again designates a thin-walled tube, generally of plastic, whose upper portion is adapted to be grasped by the hand of the user. A sealing plug 50 is inserted at an intermediate portion of the tube. The numeral 22 again denotes the body of a liquid and, similarly, the numeral 26 again denotes an absorbent webbing formed on or wrapped about the lower portion of the cylinder. The numeral 52 denotes a thin wall defining a lower closure of the type 12 and it will be observed that the side walls 53 may also be thin and may in fact be integral with the lower closure portion 52. It will be appreciated that the thickness of wall portions 52 and 53 is shown much greater than intended, merely for purposes of illustration. The wall portions 52 and 53 are in practice so thin as to be relatively easily frangible or breakable. In use, the upper portion of tube 12 is grasped and the user simply presses the wadding 26 against a relatively unyielding object so as to break or crush the thin walls 52 and 53 and thereby release the encapsulated liquid. Alternatively, the user may simply squeeze the lower portion of the cylinder 12 flexing the walls thereof inwardly and thereby increase the fluid pressure within the liquid medium 22 to such an extent that the wall portions 52 and 53 will break. It will be understood that complete collapse or destruction of the walls 52 and 53 is not required, it being only sufficient or necessary that fissures or cracks occur within the walls to thereby allow the fluid 22 to pass into and impregnate the surrounding wadding 26. In lieu of the illustrated integral construction defined by walls 52, 53 and 12, a thin-walled frangible cap may be inserted over the lower end of tube 12. Similarly, a frangible plug may be inserted within the bottom portion of the bore.

From the preceding description of the mode of operation of the embodiment of FIG. 6, the reader will understand that the other embodiments may similarly include a frangible plug in lieu of the axially slidable plugs 24 or 240 or 40. That is to say, the plugs may either be axially (longitudinally) movable as described or they may simply fracture and thereby allow passage of the fluid.

I claim:

1. An in situ single use culture sampler comprising an elongated cylinder having opposing open first and second end portion, a piston workingly housed in the cylinder and having a plunger portion slidably and sealingly disposed in the cylinder and provided with an outer depressible end portion projecting axially from the first end portion of the cylinder, cooperating gripping means provided on the exterior of the cylinder adjacent to the first end portion thereof and on the outer end portion of the plunger of the piston for enabling the piston to be moved toward the second end portion of the cylinder, said cyl inder containing a liquid culture solution, a wad of fibrous material fitted on and encompassing the second end portion of the cylinder and projecting axially therebeyond and radially therefrom, said wad being internally spaced axially from the second end portion 50 as to have an internal cavity facing the open second end portion and disposed axially beyond and spaced axially from the terminal end of the second end portion of the cylinder and a plug closing off the second end portion inwardly of the cavity, said cavity being of a greater volume than said plug, said plug being forced from its closing off position relative to the second end portion of the cylinder upon movement of the piston toward the second end portion so as to permit the liquid culture to forcibly enter the cavity wherein it gathers and from whence it freely permeates in all directions the wad whereby the Wad will become inoculated with the liquid culture.

2. The invention of claim 1 wherein said second end portion of the cylinder is radially expanded beyond the cylinder and constitutes in its entirety a chamber for the liquid culture, said piston being housed within and movable solely Within the second end portion and having its plunger slidably and sealingly extending through the cylinder from the second end portion to and through the end portion.

first end portion, said plug closing 01f the second end portion and said wad encompassing completely the second References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS Griswold 215-47 Korn 124-13 Ripley 401-182 Sharp 128-269 Strauss 128269 Bloch 128269 Heimlich 128-269 Sarnoff 35-17 5 EUGENE R. CAPOZIO, Primary Examiner H. S. SKOGQUIST, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

Volpini 401-476 x 10 128269; 401-132, 196

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U.S. Classification401/177, 604/2, 401/196, 604/289, 604/217, 401/132
International ClassificationA61F13/40, A61B10/02, A45D34/04, A61B10/00
Cooperative ClassificationA45D2200/1018, A61B10/02, A45D34/04, A61M35/006
European ClassificationA61B10/02, A45D34/04, A61M35/00B2