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Publication numberUS3532412 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateOct 6, 1970
Filing dateJan 17, 1969
Priority dateJan 17, 1969
Publication numberUS 3532412 A, US 3532412A, US-A-3532412, US3532412 A, US3532412A
InventorsRobert C Miller
Original AssigneeIbm
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Package for and method of packaging pathology specimens
US 3532412 A
Abstract  available in
Images(1)
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Oct. 6, 1970 R. c. MILLER 3,532,412

PACKAGE FOR AND METHOD OF PACKAGING PATHOLOGY SPECIMENS Filed Jan. 17, 1969 AT TOR/V5) United States Patent Office 3,532,412 Patented Oct. 6, 1970 3,532,412 PACKAGE FOR AND METHOD OF PACKAGING PATHOLOGY SPECIMENS Robert C. Miller, Englishtown, N..I., assignor to International Business Machines Corporation, Armonk, N.Y.,

a corporation of New York Filed Jan. 17, 1969, Ser. No. 791,996 Int. Cl. G02b 21/34 US. Cl. 350-95 9 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE A substantially fiat item, such as a pathology specimen, is sealingly sandwiched between two optically clear sheets of different size, the larger overlying and providing a border completely around the smaller. The larger sheet has an adhesive band adjacent its outer periphery wider than the border such that the inner portion of the band adheres the sheets and the outer portion of the band within the border area provides a means for adhering the sandwich to a ledge, preferably of reduced thickness, surrounding an aperture in a flat record element, such as an aperture card or microfiche card. Thus the record element is free of adhesive until the sandwich is mounted thereto; and the specimen can be stained, treated and/or viewed before mounting.

This invention relates to methods of packaging substantially fiat thin items to facilitate their processing, viewing, storage and retrieval, and to packages made according to said methods; and the invention relates, more particularly, to an improved method of packaging and processing micro-sections, such as pathology specimens.

BACKGROUND OF INVENTION Pathology specimens are generally placed on a glass slide, stained, and coated with a liquid mounting medium that dissolves fingerprints and also preserves and adheres the specimen to the slide. The specimen is then covered with a thin glass sheet, dipped into solvent for final cleaning, then inspected under a microscope.

Expired US. Pat. 2,512,106 discloses a record card known as an aperture card having an aperture surrounded by a compressed shoulder to which is mounted a sheet of cellophane completely coated with pressuresensitive adhesive (FIGS. 15) or coated over only a marginal or frame portion around a central cutout (FIGS. 69). A temporary cover sheet of glassine paper is applied to the adhesive coated surface of the cellophane within the card aperture area so the cards may be perforated or otherwise processed; and this cover sheet is later removed to mount a film chip to said surface. Or the intermediate step of applying, then removing the cover sheet may be eliminated, and the film chip mounted directly to the cellophane. But in either event, the pressure-sensitive-adhesive coated sheet is mounted on the shoulder first, and then a film chip is adhered to the pressure-sensitive adhesive on the cellophane sheet.

If a specimen-carrying chip were substituted for the film chip in this prior art arrangement, the resultant structure would not be suitable for conventional medical procedures. For example, assume that a specimen is placed on an optically clear chip, stained and then coated with liquid mounting medium. When the specimen-carrying chip is mounted to the cellophane sheet, mounting medium can leak or be squeezed out and absorbed by the record card and render it unprocessable through data processing equipment. Moreover, the sheet-specimenchip sandwich created upon mounting to the card cannot be dipped in cleaning solvent without destroying the card. Also, to view the specimen, the entire card must now be handled rather than merely the sandwich. Conventional medical procedure requires that the specimen be treated with mounting medium, covered and cleaned before being viewed; and obviously these steps cannot be followed, for the reasons stated, if the cover over the specimen is provided by a cellophane sheet that has already been mounted to the card. Finally, it is noted that the patentee provides a temporary cover sheet to cover the adhesive on the mounted cellophane sheet to enable the card to be key-punched, printed upon or otherwise processed; and while the cover sheet will protect the side of the cellophane sheet facing the aperture, it will not protect the other side of the sheet as it is processed manually or by machine.

There is a need for an economical method of packaging pathology specimens that will enable the specimen to be stained, coated, cover slipped, cleaned and viewed in the manner customary in the medical profession for a specimen placed on a conventional glass slide, and yet preserved for storage and retrieval by data processing techniques and/or storage on a common record element with other visually observable specimens and/or vital printed, punched or magnetically inscribed data. Also such method of packaging should assure that any liquid mounting medium that does leak out during sealing of the specimen between thin optically clear sheets will not react with or damage the record element, and that any liquid that does leak may actually be removed by dipping the entire specimen-containing sandwich in appropriate cleaning solvents. Also such a method should assure that the record can be imprinted, key-punched, or other types of data or indicia applied thereto while the record is free of adhesive and before mounting of the sandwich to the record.

In a somewhat broader sense, there is also a need for a package for and method of packaging thin flat items where a plurality of work operations may be performed on the specimen before it is sealed between two sheets and on the specimen-containing package before it is adhered to the record.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION Toward this end, and according to the invention, there are provided two thin optically clear plastic sheets of different size. The specimen is placed preferably on the smaller, and certain work operations may then be performed thereon. The larger sheet, when overlying the smaller, provides a border completely around the smaller. This larger sheet has a pressure-sensitive adhesive band wider than the border for enabling the sheets first to be sealed together with the specimen sandwiched in between; and then, after any desired work operations are performed on the assembled sandwich and after any data is imprinted, punched or magnetically inscribed on the record, the outer portion of this border provides the means for mounting the sandwich over an aperture in the record.

The adhesive band is preferably applied by a gravure process with a pattern density preselected to assure that any entrapped air may be squeezed out during sealing of the sheets but that any liquid that may be applied over the specimen will leak very slightly or not at all. Also the record element preferably has a shoulder, recessed by abrading or the like, about the aperture and of such depth and thickness in relation to the thickness of the larger and smaller sheets, respectively, that the specimencontaining sandwich will not project beyond either flat surface of the record.

Other objects and advantages will become apparent from the following more detailed description of the invention and from the accompanying drawing wherein:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a pathology record card embodying the invention and comprising two thin, different size, optically clear plastic sheets with a specimen sealingly sandwiched therebetween;

FIGS. 2 and 3 are perspective views, to enlarged scale, of the respective sheets prior to their being sealed to gether to form the specimen-containing sandwich;

FIG. 4 is an enlarged exploded view showing the sandwich disposed above the record card ready for mounting in overlying relation to an aperture in the card;

FIG. 5 is an enlarged fragmentary view of a gravureapplied adhesive pattern; and

FIG. 6 is a vertical section view taken along the line 6-6 of FIG. 1.

DESCRIPTION As illustrated, a specimen-carrying sandwich 10 embodying the invention comprises two thin sheets 11, 12 of optically clear plastic. Sheet 11 preferably is substantially the size of a conventional glass pathology slide and preferably serves as the carrier for a specimen S. Sheet 12 is larger than sheet 11 so as to provide a border of preselected width (e.g., 0.100") around all edges when superposed over smaller sheet 11. Adjacent its edges sheet 12 has a band 13 of pressure-sensitive-adhesive which is wider than said border (e.g., 0.200). As shown in FIG. 3, a temporary cover sheet 14 of glassine paper or the like covers the entire adhesive band 13 prior to use.

In operation, a pathology specimen S is placed on carrier sheet 11. The specimen is stained, and then coated with a liquid mounting medium 15 by a dropper 16 or the like to clean the specimen and preserve it from decay, all in accordance with established medical procedure. According to the invention, the temporary cover sheet 14 is now removed from larger sheet 12; and the latter is then centered, adhesive down, over the smaller sheet and adhered by the inner portion of the adhesive band to the smaller sheet. The outer portion of the adhesive band projecting beyond the edges of smaller sheet 11 will remain exposed, for reasons presently to be explained.

Meanwhile, as sheets 11, 12 are thus bonded to form the specimen-carrying sandwich 10, entrapped air and any excess liquid mounting medium will be squeezed or squeegeed out from between the sheets. The sandwich is then dipped in cleaning solvent to remove any leaked liquid and fingerprints. Next the sandwich is placed under a microscope for viewing.

After the specimen has been viewed, the sandwich 10 is preferably mounted on a flat record element 17 so that it may be stored and retrieved using conventional data processing techniques.

Element 17, as illustrated, is like a conventional tabulating card except that it has a rectangular aperture 18 which is slightly larger than the smaller sheet 11. The aperture is surrounded by a ledge or shoulder 19 formed by abrading or otherwise reducing the thickness of the card stock. The aforementioned outer portion of the adhesive band 13 is pressed against shoulder 19 to mount the sandwich 10 to the record element. The recessed portion of the element bounded by the shoulder is large enough to receive the larger sheet 12; and the depth of the recessed portion and thickness of the shoulder are sufficient in relation to the thickness of sheets 12, 11, respectively, to assure that when sandwich 10 is mounted, it will not project beyond either flat surface of element 17.

According to an important feature of the invention, the shoulder 19 is not coated with adhesive during manufacture of the card 17; i.e., the card as manufactured and received by the customer merely has an uncoated recessed ledge around the aperture, and hence no temporary cover sheet is required for the card. The card can readily be inscribed, printed or keypunched at any time prior to mounting of the sandwich 10 thereon; and after mounting, certain marking operations may be performed provided suflicient care is taken not to damage the sandwich. Moreover, the specimen can readily be treated, handled and viewed while separate from the card 17 without possibility of damage to the card.

The adhesive band 13 preferably is applied by a gravure process with a pattern density (see FIG. 5) preselected to assure that any entrapped air can be squeezed out during bonding of the sheets togehter but that very little or no liquid mounting medium will leak from between the sheets.

Very satisfactory results have been obtained using Permount, Fisher Scientific Company, Inc.s brand of mounting medium 15; and also using Aclar, Allied Chemical Co.s brand of poly (chlorotrifiuoroethylene) for the sheets 11, 12; and using a pressure sensitive adhesive made of a polyurethane/rosin blend. The specimen S may be stained with standard pathology laboratory stains; and Xylene, Shell Chemical Corporations brand of solvent, may be used for cleaning the sandwich before viewing.

It will be understood that while the invention has been shown and described with particular reference to a package for and method of packaging pathology specimens, the invention is capable of use for sealing and preserving and through data processing techniques storing and later retrieving any thin substantially fiat items; e.g., miniature electronic components, rare postage stamps, or microsections. Accordingly, the scope of the invention is to be limited only as specified in the claims.

What is claimed is:

1. For mounting to a flat record element of one nominal thickness and having an aperture surrounded by a relatively narrow shoulder of significantly less thickness:

a specimen-carrying sandwich comprising two sheets with optically clear superposed portions and a substantially flat specimen sealed therebetween,

one of said sheets completely covering and being larger than the other, the larger sheet having a band of pressure-sensitive adhesive adjacent its outer peripheral border and of a width greater than the difference in size of the sheets and applied with a pattern density preselected to enable any air entrapped around the specimen to be squeezed out during bonding of the sheets to form the sandwich,

the shoulder remaining free of adhesive until the outermost portion of said band is bonded to the shoulder to mount the sandwich to the record element.

2. A sandwich according to claim 1, wherein the specimen is a pathology specimen coated with a liquid mounting medium, and

the adhesive is applied by a gravure process, and said preselected pattern density not only assures that any entrapped air can be squeezed out during bonding of the sheets to each other but that the liquid mounting medium will not leak from between the sheets.

3. A sandwich according to claim 1, wherein the thickness of the larger sheet does not exceed the depth of the shoulder, and the thickness of the smaller sheet is less than that of said shoulder, such that the sandwich does not project beyond either flat surface of the element.

4. The combination according to claim 1, including a temporary cover sheet removably covering the entire pressure-sensitive adhesive band on the larger sheet until it is ready to be adhered to the smaller sheet.

5. A method of packaging a substantially flat specimen for subsequent processing, viewing, storage and retrieval, comprising the steps of providing a substantially flat record element of one nominal thickness and having an aperture surrounded by a narrow shoulder of significantly less thickness,

providing two sheets with superposable optically clear portions, the sheets being of different size such that edges of the larger overlie those of the smaller when the sheets are superposed,

applying pressure-sensitive adhesive to the larger sheet adjacent its outer peripheral edges to provide an adhesive border wider than the difference in size of said sheets,

placing the specimen on either of the sheets,

successively adhering the sheets to each other by means of the inner portion of the adhesive border to provide a sandwich with the specimen sealed between the sheets to permit a work operation to be performed thereon while disassociated from the record element, and

then mounting the sandwich to the record element by adhering the outer portion of the adhesive border to the shoulder, the shoulder remaining free of adhesive until the sandwich is mounted thereto.

6. The method according to claim 5, including the further steps of placing a temporary cover sheet over the entire pressure-sensitive adhesive border after it is applied to the larger sheet, and removing the cover sheet as necessary to adhere the sheets.

7. The method according to claim 5, wherein the thickness of the respective sheets are such in relation to the depth and thickness of the shoulder that the specimencontaining sandwich when adhered to the shoulder will not project beyond either flat surface of the record element.

8. A method of preserving a pathology specimen or the like, comprising the steps of providing two sheets of different size with superposable optically clear portions,

applying pressure-sensitive adhesive to the larger sheet adjacent its outer peripheral edges to provide an adhesive border wider than the difference in size of said sheets, placing the specimen on the smaller sheet, staining the specimen, applying a liquid mounting medium thereto, successively adhering the sheets to each other by means of the inner portion of the adhesive border to provide a sandwich with the specimen sealed between the sheets, the adhesive being applied to the larger sheet with a pattern density preselected to assure that any entrapped air can be squeezed out during bonding of the sheets to each other but the mounting medium will not leak from between sheets, cleaning the exterior of the sandwich, and placing the sandwich under a microscope to view the specimen. 9. The method according to claim 8, including the further step of mounting the sandwich on a record sheet by adhering the portion of the adhesive band extending beyond the edges of the smaller sheet to the area of the record sheet surrounding an aperture therethrough.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 2,587,022 2/1952 Langan 40-158 X 2,801,568 8/1957 Dakin 350-92 JOHN K. CORBIN, Primary Examiner T. H. KUSMER, Assistant Examiner US. Cl. X.R.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification156/108, 206/456, 359/398, 428/13, 359/900
International ClassificationG03B21/64, G02B21/34, G06K19/02, H01L23/02
Cooperative ClassificationY10S359/90, G06K19/022
European ClassificationG06K19/02A