US 3578039 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent Edward P. Marbach Los Angeles, Calif. 767,676
Oct. 15, 1968 May 11, 1971 Baxter Laboratories, Inc.
Inventor Appl. No. Filed Patented Assignee AUTOMATIC PROPORTIONER ASSEMBLY 9 Claims, 3 Drawing Figs.
U.S. 141/ 18, 23/253, 23/259,141/104,'141/383,222/l34 Int. Cl 1365b 1/04, B65b 3/04 FieldotSearch 141/18,
104, 130, 383389; 73/(lnquired); 128/(Inquired); 23/(Inquired), 253, 259, 290; ZZZ/(inquired), 134; 137/(Inquired), 269, 608
References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,349,815 10/1967 De Baets Primary Examinerl'louston S. Bell, Jr. AttomeyScott J. Meyer PAT ENTE D MAN 1 l97l III AUTOMATIC PROPORTIONER ASSEMBLY BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Devices which proportion two fluids for subsequent chemical analysis have gained considerable acceptance in the field of chemical analysis and particularly in the biomedicalanalysis field such as hemoglobin testing where a small blood sample is combined with a much larger quantity of reagent in accurate proportion to another for subsequent chemical analy- SIS.
These proportioning devices in many cases include a syringe having a plunger and a relatively movable telescopic barrel member with a liquid conduit connected thereto for withdrawing and delivering both reagent and sample. Such a proportioning device is disclosed in the Marbach et al. Pat. No. 3,236,423 and reference should be made thereto for a more complete description of such a device. More recently, syringe devices of this character have been automated by providing fluid. actuators for driving the barrel portion of the syringe and selectively operable valves for connecting the syringe to either a source of reagent or a sample source through a sample pipet connected to the valve. in one such device, a suitable control system is provided for connecting the syringe to a source of reagent and driving the barrel to draw reagent into the syringe. After a predetermined amount of reagent is drawn into the syringe the valve is switched to the sample pipet and the actuator continues its movement drawing in a predetermined quantity of sample. Thereafter, the actuator is reversed and the sample and reagent discharged into another receptacle.
One of the problems incident to the use of syringes or proportioners of this character, whether automated or not, is in the contamination of the liquid lines connecting the syringe to the sample pipet and to the reagent source. The problem is complicated somewhat in an automated device where a valve is required for switching from the sample pipet to the reagent source conduit since the valve itself is subject to contamination.
SUMMARY OF THE PRESENT INVENTION In accordance with the present invention,.an integrated reagent receptacle and valve assembly is provided which is easily removable from the main proportioner housing along with the syringe itself. This is particularly desirable in units where the syringes are precalibrated so that if a different dilution ratio is required, a different syringe must be employed. By providing a unitary valve and reagent subassembly which is removable from the main proportioner housing throughthe use of quick disconnect fittings, the syringe and subassembly may be removed and replaced by another syringe and subassembly without any danger of cross contamination between the two subassemblies. This enables the switching from one dilution ratio to another very quickly and without the need for cleaning and flushing of any of the lines..All of the liquid lines, e.g., the lines carrying the. diluent and the lines carrying the sample are contained in the reagent receptacle subassembly so that when the subassembly is removed, all of the lines valving and plumbing in contact with liquid that might provide a vehicle for contamination are removed. Moreover, this feature also enables perishable reagents to be quickly removed from the device and refrigerated when not in use, and then quickly replaced on the machine without waste of expensive chemicals.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS along line 2-2 of FIG. I, and
FIG. 3 is an enlarged fragmentary section of one of the releasable fittings.
and 41 when switching of the valve 31from one of DETAlLED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODlMENT Referring to the drawings,- an automatic proportioner 10 is provided which is seen to include a housingll having a boss 12 which supports a syringe 14. A clamp 15 is provided for locking the syringe 14 in position.
The syringe 14 includes a base 16 having a plunger 18 extending upwardly therefrom. Telescopically received on the plunger 18 is a barrel 20 having a fitting 21 on the upper end thereof releasably connected to a main syringe liquid conduit 24.
The main liquid conduit 24 is selectively connected to a sample conduit 28 or a reagent conduit 29 by a two position valve 31 which may take the form of a diaphragm operated spool valve although other types of valves may be used as well.
The valve 31 is constructed to connect liquid port 32 to either sample port 33 or reagent port 34. The valve is shifted from one position to another by the selective application of fluid underpressure to ports 36 at both ends of the valve. This fluid might be a liquid or it might be a gas, such as air.
In the lower portion of the main proportioner housing 11 is mounted an actuator (not shown) for reciprocating the barrel 20-as well as a control system for controlling movementof the actuator and providing fluid signals, e.g.- air, to the passages 40 the conduits 28 or 29 to the other is desired.
The control system is operable to provide a fluid signal in conduit or passageway 40 when it is desired that a fluid signal be ported to shift the valve member to a position connecting liquid conduit 24 to the sample conduit 28, and is operable to deliver a signal through conduit or passageway 41 when it is 'desired that the valve 31 connect conduit 24 to reagent con-.
The main proportioner housing 11 is provided with a horizontally extending flange 42 at its upper end having a shoulder 43 extending upwardly therefrom and defining a surface 44 which receives a main housing cap 46. Both the cap 46 and the flange 42 have recesses 48 and 49 therein through which the flexible liquid conduit 24 may freely pass.
Seated within the flange 42 are fittings 37 and 38 of identical construction-These fittings each include a generally annular'flange member 47 with a sealing O-ring 39 mounted within an annular recess in the fittings. Each fitting has a central passageway 50 communicating with a barbed fitting 52 projecting downwardly from the flange 42. The'conduits 40 and 41 are continuously connected to the barb fittings 52and do not require removal with the valve 31 or thesyringe 14 as will appear more clearly hereinbelow.
Towards this end a unitary valve and reagent'subassembly 60 is provided. The subassembly 60 is very easily and releasably attached to the main housing 11 and may be removed with all the liquid conduits associated with the device including the main liquid conduit or passageway 24.
The subassembly 60 includes a generally cylindrical reagent reservoir 61 having a neck portion 63 formed integrally with an L-shaped bracket member 65 having a flange portion "68 extending outwardly from the subassembly and having a lower surface 72 selectively engageable with the'upper surface of flange 42. Molded in the flange 68 are hollow metal sleevesi74 and 75, the interiors of which communicate with transverse passageways 78 in .the flange 68, each of which receives a pipelike fitting member 79. The fittings 79 receive flexible conduits 81 and 82 connected to the ports 36 for actuating the valve diaphragms in the manner described above.
Surrounding the L-shaped bracket 65-and the flange 68 is a cup-shaped cap 83 having a projecting portion 85 surrounding the flange 68. Cap 83 has a suitable supporting'boss (not shown) for supporting the valve member 31 within the cap.
The sample conduit v28 extends from the valve port 34 througha suitable aperture 88 in the L-shaped bracket 65 .and has a pipet 90 at its end for receiving sample liquid. The reagent conduit 29 extends from valve port 34 within the cap through aperture 92 in bracket 65 down into the interior of the receptacle 61.
When it is desired that the subassembly 60 be removed and replaced by another valve and reagent subassembly, it is merely necessary to remove the main liquid line from the fitting 21 on the barrel member and lift the bracket 65 upwardly removing the sleeves 74 and 75 from the fittings 37 and 38. This disconnects the liquid conduit from the syringe 14 as well as disconnects the valve actuating signal lines 40 and 41 from the valve actuating lines 81 and 82, respectively, Another valve and reagent subassembly may be attached to the main housing 11 by inserting its sleeves 74 and 75 in the fittings 37 and 38.
The sealing rings 39 seal the sleeves 74 and 75 and provide an airtight fluid passage from conduits 40 and 41 through passages 78 to conduits 81 and 82.
In cases where it is desired to remove the proportioner or syringe 14 as well as the valve and reagent receptacle subas sembly, and this is frequently the case where the syringe 14 is precalibrated and it is desired that the dilution ratio be changed which requires a different syringe, the syringe 14 may be unclamped and the conduit 24 and the subassembly 60 may all be removed at the same time quickly and another set of these elements with a different syringe calibration, and even a different reagent, attached quite easily.
l. In an automatic proportioner of the type having a calibrated syringe and fluid controls for providing fluid signals when switching from one fluid to another, the combination comprising: a main proportioner housing, a syringe mounted in said housing for withdrawing and delivering liquids, fluid control components in said main housing for providing fluid signals when it is desired to connect said syringe from one liquid to another, first fluid fitting means in said main housing continuously connected to said control components, liquid receptacle means separate from said main housing for containing one of said liquids, valve means connected to said liquid receptacle for selectively connecting said syringe to the liquid in the receptacle or another liquid, liquid conduit means adapted to connect said valve means and said syringe, second fluid fitting means fixed to said receptacle means, and conduit means connecting said fluid fitting means to actuate said valve means, said first and second fluid fitting means being releasably connectable whereby the receptacle means may be removed with the liquid conduits from the main housing.
2. An automatic proportioner as defined in claim 1, wherein one of said fitting means includes a sleeve member insertable within the other of said fitting means to fix the receptacle to LII said main housing and to also provide a conduit for the fluid signal to actuate said valve means.
3. An automatic proportioner as defined in claim 1, wherein said syringe is removable from said main'housing' whereby the syringe, the liquid conduit means and the receptacle means may be removed from the proportioner together and replaced by a ditferent syringe and receptacle means.
4. An automatic proportioner as defined in claim 1, including a third fitting in said main housing, conduit means continuously connecting said third fitting to said control components to provide a second fluid signal for actuating said valve means, fourth fluid fitting means on said receptacle means, conduit means connected to said fourth fluid fitting means to deliver said second fluid signal to said valve means, said third and fourth fitting means being releasably connectable simultaneously with said first and second fitting means.
5. An automatic proportioner as defined in claim 1, wherein said receptacle means includes a container for said first liquid, a flange member projecting outwardly from the top of the container, said second fitting being mounted in said flange member.
6. An automatic proportioner as defined in claim 5, wherein said receptacle means includes a cap fixed to the top of said container, said valve means being mounted in said ca 7. An automatic proportioner as defined in claim wherein said valve means includes a first liquid conduit extending downwardly into said container and a second liquid conduit for communication with another liquid.
8. An automatic proportioner as defined in claim 5, wherein said second fitting means project downwardly from said flange member, said first fitting means being mounted in said main housing at the upper portion thereof.
9. In an automatic proportioner, the combination comprising: main housing means, a syringe connected in said main housing means, and adapted to proportion first and second liquids, control means for said syringe and for providing a fluid signal when it is desired to switch from the first to the second liquids, first fitting means in said main housing, conduit means continuously connecting said control means to deliver said fluid signal to said first fitting means, second housing means separate from said main housing means and releasably connected thereto, said second housing having valve means fixed thereto and adapted to connect said syringe selectively tonne of said first and second liquids, second fitting means in said second housing for receiving said fluid signal, said first and second fitting means being releasably connected, and conduit means connecting said second fitting means to deliver said fluid signal to said valve means.