US 3630418 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent 72] Inventor Theodore Bilichniansky Hopewell Jct., N.Y.
 Appl. No. 10,548
 Filed Feb. 11, 1970  Patented Dec. 28, 1971  Assignee Technicon Instruments Corporation Tarrytown, N.Y.
 DISPENSER FOR SUPPLYING LIQUID BY Primary ExaminerRobert B. Reeves Assistant Examiner-John P. Shannon, Jr. Attorneys-S. P. Tedesco and S. E. Rockwell ABSTRACT: A dispenser including a container body having a mouth. A permanent liquid seal across the mouth has a pair of ducts approaching the bottom of the container and opening thereinto. The ducts extend upwardly through the seal, having their upper ends spaced apart. Before use, a short length of flexible tubing interconnects the upper ends of the ducts to prevent leakage and spillage. One end of the tubing may be disconnected and then connected to a suction inlet so that the connected one of the pair of ducts becomes an aspirating tube and the other provides an air inlet. Multiple container bodies may be supported together.
Patented Dec. 28, 1971 FIG.3
DISPENSER FOR SUPPLYING LIQUID BY SUCTION BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to dispensers for supplying liquid by suction, and especially to such devices used for supplying chemical and other solutions employed in automated continuous analysis apparatus.
2. Prior Art Apparatus for the continuous analysis .of fluids are well known. Such an apparatus is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 2,797,149, issued June 25, 1957. U.S. Pat. No. 2,879,141, issued Mar. 24, I959, discloses analysis apparatus of an automated type in which samples are fed in a flowing stream by means of an offtake device which aspirates liquid from each of a plurality of sample containers, which are sequentially presented thereto by a sampler assembly. Such apparatus is commonly employed for the analysis of body fluids. Similar apparatus is employed for other analytical purposes, such as monitoring industrial operations for example.
In apparatus such as described, it is traditional to treat a specimen for colorimetric analysis or some other type of analysis with a processing media. For example, when analyzing blood for glucose, it is common to use, as processing media, solutions of sodium chloride, sodium bicarbonate and neocuproine hydrochloride, each supplied from a separate reservoir in the form of a container such as a bottle.
Heretofore, the operator was required to collect bottles of the various reagents needed to run the desired analysis or analyses and then, after removing the caps supplied on the bottles for shipment and handling, insert a suction tube from the apparatus in each one. Each bottle mouth might be left open and a weighted, flexible tube end portion dropped into the bottle for aspiration of its contents into the apparatus. An alternative was to support a straw in a bottle through a disc held down on the mouth of the bottle by a retaining ring threaded on the bottle, the connection preventing separation of the disc from the bottle but being sufficiently loose to enable air to enter the bottle upon aspiration.
Obviously, in both cases a risk existed of spillage during handling, such as in connecting a bottle and also in disconnecting and storing a partially used bottle after the termination of an analysis. At least in the first-mentioned example, there was the further danger of contamination of the reagent resulting in a faulty analysis and, also, evaporation of the reagent, because the mouth of the bottle was left fully open during the operative connection of the bottle to the apparatus. It should be noted that the reagent might be contaminated by the handling of the straw or tubing prior to the insertion thereof into the bottle for example. It will also be evident that connecting such a reagent bottle to analysis apparatus required time-consuming care on the part of the operator. In this regard, it should also be noted that reagents employed in some analyses have a caustic effect on the skin and contact with the users hands is to be avoided for this reason.
Multiple reagents used for a single analysis often run at different volumetric rates. During an analysis, the user, under the above-described circumstances, must see to it that none of the reagent bottles runs dry. Individual bottles must be replaced when the liquid content diminishes to a certain level.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is an object of the invention to provide an improved dispenser for supplying liquid by suction, which effectively inhibits leakage and spillage and which provides for quick connection to and disconnection from analysis apparatus. The dispenser, which is of the disposable type, may be conveniently constructed, at least primarily, of plastic materials resistant to chemicals and include a filter for excluding from analysis apparatus a substance, for example, such as mold in the dispenser.
There is provided a dispenser including an upright, walled liquid container body having an upwardly opening mouth Ill across which a permanent liquid-sealing element is assembled, after the body is filled with the desired volume of a particular liquid, and sealed thereto. An upwardly extending pair of ducts opening into the container body adjacent the bottom of the latter extend upwardly through the sealing element in liquidtight relation and have their upper ends laterally spaced from one another, one of which may terminate in a nipple. A short length of flexible tubing interconnects the nipple and the other duct before use to prevent leakage and spillage. The end of the tubing connected to the nipple may be slipped by manipulation from the latter and connected by a suitable connector to a suction inlet length of tubing of the analysis apparatus, so that the connected one of the pair of ducts becomes an aspirating tube and the other an air inlet. The connection may be made quickly without wetting the user's fingers with the reagent.
It is well known that certain bottled reagents are used together in a group in making an analysis, for example, of glucose with apparatus of the type disclosed by aforementioned U.S. Pat. No. 2,797,149. As previously indicated, three separately bottled, different reagents may be used in such an analysis. Also, as previously pointed out, an analysis may require a larger volume of one reagent than another. The invention contemplates the provision of multiple reagent bottles for any particular well-known type of analysis, wherein the bottles are supported together, as one from another, for example, with the object of supplying sufficient reagents to run an analysis apparatus for, say, an 8 hour period. The bottles are all the same size and, in accordance with different volumes of reagents required in theanalysis, may be filled to different levels.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING In the drawing:
FIG. I is a fragmentary, top plan view illustrating a dispenser for supplying liquid by suction embodying the invention, the dispenser, shown without its shipping cap, being illustrated as joined to a companion;
FIG. 2 is a broken, fragmentary elevational view in exploded form, illustrating the shipping cap, and showing a portion of the dispenser in section taken on line 22 of FIG. 1;
FIG. 3 is a fragmentary sectional view similar to FIG. 2, illustrating the dispenser connected to a suction inlet.
FIG. 4 is a top plan view of a modified form of dispenser, omitting the shipping cap; and
FIG. 5 is a fragmentary elevational view of the dispenser of FIG. 4 showing a portion thereof in section taken on line 55 of FIG. 4.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS In FIGS. 1 and 2, there is shown a hollow container body of a dispenser for supplying liquid by suction, indicated generally at 10, which may be supported together with its neighbor, indicated generally at 11, as by the adjoining side walls thereof being fused with one another. As the bodies 10 and 11 and their associated elements may be identical, and as more than two may be joined together, a description of the body 10 with its associated elements will suffice.
In the illustrated form, the body 10, which may be constructed of chemical-resistant polyethylene, is of generally rectangular form having an upwardly extending restricted portion or neck 12 providing an upwardly opening mouth at its upper extremity. The body may have a broad shoulder portion I3 below the neck. The neck 12 is provided externally with a screw thread 14 for cooperation with a threaded portion, not shown, ofa shipping cap 15 having a body which may be structured of suitable plastic material.
In the form illustrated, the container body or bottle 10 is provided with an insert assembly, indicated generally at 16, which is assembled with the bottle after the latter has been filled to the desired level with a liquid such as a reagent. The insert assembly 16 includes a sealing element 17. In the form shown, the seal 17 is of cup shape, provided with a radial flange 18 to overlie the upper extremity of the neck 12 of the bottle. The sealing cup 17, which may be molded of polyethylene, has two apertures, not shown, through the bottom thereof, one surrounded by an integral depending collar 19 and the other by a similar collar 20. The aperture surrounded by the collar 19 is the larger of the two. The other aperture surrounded by the collar 20 communicates with an integral upwardly extending tubular portion 21 which is struc tured as an open nipple terminating well below the upper extremity of the sealing cup 17.
The insert assembly 16 also includes in the form shown a straight tube 22 having a press fit in the collar 20, preferably abutting the bottom of the cup of the seal 17. The tube 22 is in communication with the nipple 21 and is of a length sufficient to approach the bottom of the bottle. A tube 23, which like the tube 22 forms a conduit and may be constructed of polypropolene, extends through the collar 19 and the bottom of the sealing cup 17 in liquidtight relation thereto, having as its upper extremity a laterally directed elbow 24 (FIG. 1) located well below the top of the sealing cup.
The tube 23 has at the lower portion thereof an integral enlargement 25 provided intermediate of its ends with a radial flange 26 for housing a filter, not shown, of a type to filter mold, for example, which may have formed in the bottle from the reagent therein. The lower end of the enlarged portion 25 of the tube 23, which is open, may closely approach the bottom of the bottle. The tube 22 lies adjacent the tube 23 and has the lower extremity thereof open and spaced from the lower extremity of the tube 23 in the manner shown in FIG. 2.
As shown in the last-mentioned view the tube 22 does not approach the bottom of the bottle as closely as does the tube 23. The open lower end of the tube 22 is spaced a distance upwardly from the flange 26 of the tube 23 and is located thereover in the manner shown. The arrangement is such that the flange 26 is located intermediate the lower end of the tube 22 and the lower end of the tube 23. However, the distance between the open lower end of the tube 23 and the open lower end of the tube 22 is not great, and it is desirable as will appear hereinafter that both of these ends be immersed in the same fluid, whether liquid or air.
The insert assembly 16 further includes a short length of thin-walled flexible tubing which may be constructed of polyvinylchloride with a suitable plasticizer. The last-mentioned tubing is indicated at 27, and in the condition of the dispenser shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 has one end thereof slipped over the elbow 24 of the tube 23 so as to have a friction fit therewith and the other end slipped over the nipple 21 to have a friction fit with the latter. This arrangement is such that the tubing 27 forms a fluid connection between the tubes 22 and 23. The tubing 27 in this condition lies entirely within the sealing cup 17.
Then the insert assembly 16 is subsequently assembled in the bottle with the sealing cup 17 in the position previously described, the flange 18 of the cup 17 may be sealed to the neck 12 of the bottle by the application of heat. The screwcap 15 may have a suitable liner, not shown, affixed therein to seal against the flange 18 when the cap is assembled with and tightened on the bottle. It is noted that before and after assembly of the cap with the bottle, the recessed cup 17 protects the tubing 27 and its connections, and prevents anything from falling into the liquid contents of the bottle.
This construction including the tubing 27 provides a double seal for the bottle for shipping, which very effectively inhibits leakage from the bottle. When the bottle is about to be used, the shipping cap 15 is removed and discarded.
After removal of the cap 15 the user may insert a finger into the cup 17 to engage from below the tubing 27 which in the assembled position of FIG. 2 is bent upwardly intermediate its ends as shown. An upward pull on this portion of the tubing 27 serves to disconnect the tubing from the nipple 21. Such a pull does not disconnect the tubing from the tube 23 as it is in a direction substantially normal to the plane in which the elbowed end of the tube 23 is connected to the tubing 27.
It is noted that prior to this disconnection, there is little tendency for liquid to accumulate in the tubing 27 regardless of whether or not the bottle has been inadvertently shaken or jarred, as both tubes 22 and 23 are immersed in liquid. if the bottle is placed in a horizontal attitude before being righted and opened as aforesaid, the open ends of the tubes 22 and 23 will remain immersed in a liquid while the bottle is an the horizontal attitude, depending of course on how much liquid there is in the bottle. On the other hand, if the bottle is inverted prior to being rightedand opened as aforesaid, the open ends of the tubes 22 and 23 will extend into an air pocket while the bottle is inverted. Owing to the aforementioned construction and arrangement of the fluid conduit, there is little danger that the user's hands will be wetted with a reagent upon the disconnection of the tubing 27 from the nipple 21 as aforesaid.
lt will be appreciated from the foregoing that, owing to the aforementioned relationship of the tubes 22 and 23 in the bottle, there is little tendency of spillage from the bottle if the latter is inadvertently shaken or tilted to some degree after the tubing 27 has been disconnected from the nipple 21 and before the bottle has been connected to the analysis apparatus.
To connect the bottle to a suction inlet such as that of analysis apparatus after the aforementioned disconnection of the tubing 27, the free end portion of the tubing is extended from the cup 17 by manipulation and the free end portion of a suction tube 29 carrying a suitable nipple, indicated generally at 30, is plugged into the last-mentioned end of the tubing 27 as shown in FIG. 3.
Thereafter, the bottle tube 23 aspirates liquid on the application of suction and the bottle tube 22 admits air into the bottle to the inlet duct ornipple 21. Air bubbles passing into the liquid through the tube 22 tend to rise in the liquid rather than be pulled into the inlet end of the aspirating tube 23, owing to the aforementioned construction and arrangement of the tubes 22 and 23.
it will be understood from the foregoing that the dispenser or bottle 11 may be connected in similar manner to another suction tube of the analysis apparatus. If it is desired to run the apparatus for less than the full period of time allowed by the volumes of reagents before changing over the apparatus for a different type of analysis, say uria-nitrogen (BUN), the reagent bottles in pack form may be removed from the apparatus with the fluid manifold still connected thereto and stored as a whole until later use, all with little tendency of spillage, contamination or evaporation.
In the modified form of the dispenser illustrated in FIGS. 4 and 5, the container body, indicated generally at 100, is similar to the container body 10 previously described but is shown as a separate entity. The body or bottle 10a has a neck 12a above a shouldered portion 130, which is threaded, as at 14a, to receive a cap, not shown, similar to the cap 15.
An insert assembly, indicated generally at 16a, is provided which is similar to the insert assembly 16 previously described but different therefrom in some respects which will appear hereinafter. The sealing element 17a is similar. Like reference numerals indicate like parts. It is assembled and sealed to the bottle in similar fashion.
A tube 23a is provided which differs from the construction and arrangement of the tube 23 previously described only in that the upper end portion of the tube 23a above the bottom of the sealing cup 17a is vertical or straight rather than elbowed. A length of tubing, indicated at 270, interconnects the last-mentioned end of the tube 230 and the nipple 21 in the condition of the dispenser shown in FIG. 3, and is similar to the tubing 27 described heretofore. As shown, in the last-mentioned condition, the tubing 270, located entirely within the cup-shaped seal, is bent into an inverted U-shape As the end connections of the tubing 270 may look similar to the user, unlike the form previously described, the user must be instructed as to which end of the tubing 27a to disconnect. This might be accomplished through the use of color coding, involving the end of the tubing 27a connected to the nipple 21. Moreover, this construction has the disadvantage that an upward pull on the tubing 27a for the purpose of disconnecting the latter from the nipple 21 may inadvertently result in dislodging the end connected to the tube 23a, as the pull is generally in the direction of the end of the aspirating tube, unlike the effect on the tubing connection of the dispenser of FIG. 1.
After the tubing 27a is disconnected from the nipple 21, the free end of the last-mentioned tubing may be connected to a suction inlet. The manner in which this connection is made is similar to that described and shown with reference to FIG. 3.
While the invention has been described above as applicable to suction dispensers, it will be apparent that the dispenser may be pressurized instead, for the dispensing of its liquid contents, as by pumping air into one of the above-described conduits while permitting liquid to exit from the other.
What is claimed is:
l. A dispenser for supplying liquid by suction comprising: an upright walled liquid container body having an upper mouth portion, and means defining a liquid seal comprising a sealing element extending across said mouth portion and sealed thereto and a pair of conduits approaching the bottom of the body and extending upwardly through said sealing element, said means further comprising a flexible tube forming a fluid connection between the upper ends of said conduits and detachable from one of said ends for connection to a suction inlet, so that the connected one of said conduits becomes an aspirating inlet and the other of said conduits becomes an air inlet.
2. A dispenser as defined in claim 1 wherein the upper end of said other conduit is formed as a nipple.
3. A dispenser as defined in claim 1, further including a detachable cap covering said mouth portion and enclosing said means defining a liquid seal.
4. A dispenser as defined in claim 1 wherein; the aspirating one of said conduits has a filter holder thereon, the air inlet one of said conduits being the shorter of the two, and the filter holder being disposed intermediate the lower ends of said conduits and spaced therefrom.
5. A dispenser as defined in claim I wherein; said sealing element is of cup shape and recessed in the mouth portion of the body, said upper ends of the conduits being located within the sealing cup together with said flexible tube when the latter forms a fluid connection between said conduits.
6. A dispenser as defined in claim 1 wherein; said flexible tube has a friction fit with said conduits, the aspirating one of said conduits having a horizontally extending portion to which said flexible tube is fitted, the upper end of the air inlet conduit having a vertically arranged portion to which said flexible tube is fitted to facilitate disconnection of the last-mentioned tube from the last-mentioned conduit by an upward pull, without dislocation of the other end of said flexible tube.
7. A dispenser as defined in claim 1 wherein; said sealing element is of cup shape and recessed in the mouth portion of the body, said upper ends of the conduits being located within the sealing cup and having the portions thereof connected to said flexible tubing arranged vertically.
8. A dispenser for supplying liquid by suction comprising:
an upright walled liquid container body having an upper mouth portion, a cup-shaped sealing element recessed in said mouth portion, a first vertically arranged tube having the upper end thereof in said cup element, said tube extending through the bottom of said cup element, said tube extending through the bottom of said cup element and having the lower end thereof approaching the bottom of said body, means defining a vertical conduit extending throughthe bottom of said cup element and including a second tube having an end approaching the bottom of the body, the upper end of said means defining a conduit terminating within said cup element, a flexible tube forming a fluid connection between the upper end of said first tube and the upper end of said means defining a conduit and detachable from the latter for connection to a suction inlet, so that the first tube becomes an aspirating tube and the second tube becomes an air inlet.
9. A dispenser as defined in claim 8 wherein; said means defining a vertical conduit comprises a nipple above said second tube, extending upwardly from the bottom of said cup element and formed integrally with the latter.
10. A dispenser as defined in claim 9 wherein; said first tube is elbowed above the bottom of said cup element, and said flexible tube is connected to a horizontal portion of the first tube, so as to resist dislocation of the last-mentioned connection upon an upward pull being exerted on said flexible tube, said flexible tube lying within said cup element when connected to the first tube and said nipple.
11. A dispenser for supplying liquid comprising: an upright walled liquid container body having an upper mouth portion, and means defining a liquid seal comprising a sealing element extending across said mouth portion and sealed thereto, and a pair of conduits supported by said sealing element and approaching the bottom of said container body, each of said conduits having an opening extending outwardly of said sealing element, said means also comprising a third conduit forming a fluid connection between the last-mentioned openings of said pair of conduits.
12. A liquid dispenser as defined in claim 11, further including a protective cap removably secured to the mouth portion of the container body, enclosing said sealing element, the upper ends of said pair of conduits and said third conduit.
l3. A dispenser for supplying liquid as defined in claim 11 wherein; said pair of conduits are disposed in close proximity to one another.
14. A dispenser for supplying liquid as defined in claim 11 wherein; said opening of one of said pair of conduits is provided for connection to aspirating means for removing the liquid from said container, the other of said openings being provided to bleed said container, so as to allow the removal of liquid by aspiration.
15. A dispenser for supplying liquid as defined in claim 11 wherein; said opening of one of said pair of conduits is provided for connection to a pressure source for developing a pressure head within said container, said other conduit being provided for exit of the liquid from said container in response to said pressure head.
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