US 3572552 A
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United States Patent  Inventor Perry W. Guinn 128 E. 5460 S. Apt. 8, Murray, Utah 84107 [21 App]. No. 844,830
 Filed July 25, 1969  Patented Mar.30, 1971  DIAPHRAGM DISPENSER 10 Claims, 6 Drawing Figs.
386.5, 263; 73/4254, 425.6; 141/245; l28/(Digest) 5, 218, 218 (C); 23/253, 259
3,343,422 9/1967 McSmith Primary Examiner-M. Henson Wood, Jr. Assistant Examiner-Edwin D. Grant Attorney-M. Ralph Shaffer ABSTRACT: The present invention comprises a diaphragm dispenser for fluids and includes plural charge-receiving chambers having respective variable upper extremities. The latter are defined by a diaphragm means which is selectively deformable, and in desired degrees, within said chambers as fluid pressure is applied to the upper side of the diaphragm. This is accomplished in one form of the invention by a plunger and, preferably, the same actuates a given hydraulic fluid exposed between the diaphragm and the plunger. The plunger is (inquired) preferably calibrated so that a given depression of the operating piston thereof effects predetermined incremental displace-  References ments of respective portions of the diaphragm within the UNITED STATES PATENTS charged chambers so that the latter may receive and discharge 2,063,430 12/ 1936 Graser 222/3865 respective portions of a test liquid in a manner hereinafter 3,261,208 7/ 1966 Fisher 73/4256 described.
34 B 35 32 3 7 V a,
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INVENTOR. PERRY W. GUINN HIS ATTORNEY device to be filled in the desired manner and, subsequently,
discharged as required.
In laboratory work it is frequently desirous to have accessible some type of dispenser for filling individual depressions in a tray, a plurality of test tubes, and so forth. Frequently it is desirous to test the effectiveness of drugs, and bacterial and antibiotic solutions of various types. It is convenient in such instances to provide a tray resembling a muffin tin used by housewives for baking purposes, which tray has a plurality of closely spaced depressions. Laboratory trays of such construction are well known in the art and are often used by laboratory technicians. In lieu of such a tray, of course, a series of tubes may be disposed in conventional test tube rack can be thus positioned proximate to each other.
Assume by way of example that it is desired for testing purposes that equal amounts of solution be si disposed in a plurality of test tubes or in a plurality of the depressions within the laboratory tray as above-described. r, assume the the reverse case wherein the equivalent amounts of different antibiotic solutions are disposed in the respective test tubes or the respective tray depressions arid that, for test purposed, one wishes to deposit an equivalent amount of a toxic bacterial solution in each of the test tubesor tray depressions to determine the relative effectiveness of these solutions.
By using the above procedure the relative effectiveness of either the same antibiotic agent, for example, upon different, toxic, bacterial solutions may be determined by conventional techniques including litmus papers,'preparation of cover slips and so forth. correspondingly, the relative effectiveness of a plural number of equivalent amounts of antibiotic solutions predisposed in test tubes or in the depressions of the laboratory tray and the effectiveness thereof upon given bacterial solution may be predetermined where in the dispenser is used for depositing equivalent amounts of a given bacterial solution in the individual test tubes or tray depressions.
The difficulty in the past has been one of conveniently depositing identical amounts of a given liquid into a plurality of receptacles. Frequently this is done laboriously by hand by use of conventional syringe filled repeatedly for successive discharges in respective ones of the chosen receptacles.
The present invention avoids these above difficulties in a manner as hereinafter described.
Accordingly, a principal object of the present invention is to provide a new and improved dispenser constructed to receive and discharge simultaneously a series of multiple charges of liquid.
A further object of the invention is to provide a dispenser device including plural charge chambers defined at an upper respective end thereof by deformable diaphragm means.
A further object of the invention is to provide a multiple charge dispenser incorporating diaphragm means wherein a syringe is usable in conjunction with an operative fluid, such as a hydraulic liquid, for alternatively depressing the diaphragm means within the individual charged chambers prior to charge takeup, then permitting the diaphragm means to assume its normal position and thereby reduce the pressure areas within the charged chambers so fluid is drawn upwardly therein; subsequently, to operate the syringe so that the operative fluid associated therewith depresses the diaphragm means so as to discharge liquid from the individual charge chambers of the device.
In accordance with the present invention the device incorporatcs a base having plural charge chambers. These preferably include mutually spaced bores and, in a preferred form of the invention, include depending tubular devices communicating with and mounted within the bores. The individual chambers of the device have an upper extremity defined by diaphragm means, preferably taking the form of a unitary diaphragm. Disposed above the diaphragm is fluid pressure cavity leading to a piston-cylinder combination preferably taking the form of a syringe. While the device can be operated by air, preferably a hydraulic fluid is disposed between the plunger of the syringe and the hollow cavity above the diaphragm. Depression of the plunger in the syringe forces the diaphragm downwardly into the individual charge chambers so as to express a portion of the 'air outwardly therefrom and permit the ends of the charge chamber structure to bc deposited in a given liquid. Release of pressure on the syringe either through spring pressure or drawing the plunger backwardly by hand creates a reduced pressure area above the diaphragm so as to allow the diaphragm portions to return upwardly, thereby permitting the charge chamber structures to draw fluid upwardly. Thereafter, the device is disposed over a suitable container such as a multiple depression laboratory tray or even a series of test tubes. Subsequent depression of the plunger again depresses the diaphragm means over the individual chambers so as to expel the fluid into the individual depressions of the tray or the individual test tubes used.
The features of the present invention which are believed to be novel are set forth with particularity in the appended claims. The present invention, both as to its organization and manner of operation, together with further objects and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following description, taken in connection with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. I is a perspective view of the device incorporating the features of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a transverse vertical cross section of the device and is taken along the line 2-2 in FIG. 1.
FIG. 3 is a longitudinal vertical section taken along the line 3-3 in FIG. l and is shown in reduced scale.
FIGS. 4--6 are similar to FIG. 3, illustrating, as to FIG. 4, that the plunger of the syringe is depressed so as to deform downwardly the diaphragm within the several charged chamber cavities immediately prior to and at the insertion time of the cavity tubes within a test liquid; as to FIG. 5, the release or withdrawal of the syringe plunger so that tubes may fill; and, as to FIG. 6, an expulsion of the liquid previously drawn upwardly into the charge cavity tubes, this time by a forward depression of the plunger of the syringe.
In FIG. I the device I0 of the present invention is shown to include a pair of base 11 and 112 having upstanding posts l3- l6 which serve as mounts for lower member 17. Lower member 17 includes plural bores 18 which receive the hollow cylindrical stems l9 of charge tubes 20. These charge tubes 20 will each include a depending, hollow, needlelike cylinder 21, hub 22, and the stub cylinder l9. Shoulder 23 abuts against the lower surface 24, of member ll7.
Intermediate member 25 includes plural, enlarged bores 26 which communicate with bores I8 and the hollow interiors of stub cylinders 19 in the manner indicated in FIG. 3. A diaphragm 27 is fixedly secured between the adjacent surfaces of intermediate member 25 upper member 28 and in constitution may comprise a thin, latex rubber or neoprene sheet, by way of example, of the order of 0.0 l 0 inches thick.
Upper member 28 includes a milled area 29 forming a cavity contiguous with the upper surface of diaphragm 27 and also communicating with a bore 30. Bore 30 receives the forward end of a flexible hose 31 attached to syringe 32. Syringe 32, of course, includes the usual cylinder 33 and plunger 34 operating together in a well-known manner. Screws 34' may be used to secure the upper member 28 to lower member 17 in a manner indicated as by a threaded connection. Alternatively, other means can be used; however, the manner of attachment should be such that the diaphragm is rigidly clamped or otherwise secured as between the adjaeent surfaces of intermediate member and upper member 28. In a preferred form of the invention a spring 35 may be employed, if desired, as a returning device for the plunger 34. While the device may use an air or other gaseous medium, it is preferably from a point of view of accuracy that a hydraulic fluid 36 be employed in the manner indicated in FIG. 6.
FIGS. 3-6 illustrate the operation of the device. Initially, of course, the plunger 32 will be disposed in the manner shown in FIG. 3. When it is desired to insert the charge chamber tubular extensions 21 into a given liquid, then the plunger will be depressed in the manner shown in FIG. 4 and the tubes inserted in the given liquid as seen in the same FIG. While the tubes are contained within the test fluid 37 the pressure on the plunger is released in the manner illustrated in FIG. 5 such that fluid flows upwardly into these needlelike cylinders 21. Subsequently, the device is lifted upwardly and moved to a position at which a laboratory tray 37, having individual container like depressions 38, is disposed; It has heretofore been explained that these individual depressions may contain solutions of individual character, whether bacterial or antibacterial, by way of example. At this point the plunger is advanced forwardly in a manner shown in H0. 6 so as to expel the individual charges of liquid out of the needlelike cylinders 21 of charge chambers C of the device. Accordingly; amounts of liquid will be deposited in each of the container depressions 38 of laboratory tray 37.
It is noted that the device may be calibrated as indicated at B in FlG. 1 so that a given plunger depression of, say, 5 centimeters will produce a l centimeter depression of each of the membrane portions P of members 27. Thus, there will be rendered possible a l centimeter filling of each charge chamber C. This characteristic of the invention is feasible with a high degree of accuracy, and especially where a noncompressible hydraulic fluid as at 36 is utilized in the invention. The fluid, of course, will be of such an amount that when the plunger is at zero position the diaphragm portions above the individual chambers or bores 26 are nondepressed. This is made possible due to the surface tension of the membrane.
What is achieved, therefore, is an a new and improved device for dispensing simultaneously, multiple charges of liquid into a laboratory tray, a series of test tubes, or other series of chambers. This can be accomplished very accurately where a syringe 32 of the device is calibrated as indicated, and especially where a hydraulic medium such as a noncompressible hydraulic oil liquid is disposed within the tube 31 and cavity 29. The diaphragm is effective to isolate the charge cavities C from the hydraulic line and, in addition, to provide for a desired displacement of portions of the membrane above the various charged chambers to accomplish intake and discharge in the manner above-described.
If desired, member 17 with dispenser charge tubes may comprise a replacable, unitary, molded plastic part which is disposable after use with a given liquid that may be toxic.
While particular embodiments of the present invention have been shown and described, it will be obvious to those skilled in the art that changes and modifications may be made without departing from this invention in its broader aspects.
1. A fluid dispenser including, in combination, structure defining plural, vertically disposed chambers, a cavity horizontally disposed over said chambers. flexible diaphragm means disposed between said chambers and said cavity and forming a lower boundary of said cavity, fluid means disposed in said cavity for depressing said diaphragm means within said chambers when said fluid means is under pressure, and means for releasably applying pressure to said fluid means connected to said structure and communicating with said cavity above said diaphragm means.
2. Structure according to claim 1 wherein said pressure applying means comprises a syringe.
3. Structure according to claim 1 wherein said pressure applying means comprises a syringe having a cylinder. 21 reciprocatingly translatable plunger opcratively disposed within said cylinder, and a tube afiixed to an and communicating with said cylinder and said cavity of said structure above said diaphragm means, said fluid means filling said cylinder beneath said plunger, said tube, and said cavity.
4. Structure according to claim I wherein said fluid means corn rises a hydraulic liquid. I I I I I 5. trueture according to claim I wherein said dispenser mcludes plural, needlelike cylinders communicating with said chambers and fixedly disposed with respect to and depending from said defining structure.
6. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein said diaphragm means comprises an elastomeric diaphragm sheet disposed over said chambers.
7. The dispenser of claim I wherein said fluid means comprises a gaseous medium.
8. The dispenser of claim 1 wherein said fluid means comprises a hydraulic liquid, said pressure means comprising a syrmge.
9. The dispenser of claim 3 wherein said syringe includes a plunger return spring.
10. The structure of claim 5 wherein said dispenser includes end support means disposed upon opposite sides of said cylinders and depending therebeneath.