Search Images Maps Play YouTube News Gmail Drive More »
Sign in
Screen reader users: click this link for accessible mode. Accessible mode has the same essential features but works better with your reader.

Patents

  1. Advanced Patent Search
Publication numberUS3807353 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateApr 30, 1974
Filing dateNov 29, 1972
Priority dateNov 29, 1972
Publication numberUS 3807353 A, US 3807353A, US-A-3807353, US3807353 A, US3807353A
InventorsKobernick S
Original AssigneeDevco Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Tissue staining and processing machine
US 3807353 A
Abstract
A tissue-staining or processing machine houses a gear motor to effect intermittent vertical reciprocation of a gear rack and a connected slide or tissue sample carrier for corresponding movements in registry with and successively into a series of tank supporting compartments arranged in a circle within an intermittently rotated turntable. A plurality of dye and solvent tanks are supported within some of the compartments; and a rinse tank is housed below the turntable in registry with the slide or tissue sample carrier which decends through an open compartment. A motor drive provides intermittent rotation of the turntable to present successive tanks to the carrier for dipping therein. Each compartment has its own external timing device for determining the period of immersion of the slide carrier in the corresponding tank, i.e., controlling duration of stopping of carrier lift motor including a potentiometer for each timer. Extended time periods of repetitive timing are provided at the same stations employing a stepping coil. Some of the tanks may have thermostatically controlled heating elements to regulate the solution temperature, also cooling elements.
Images(3)
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

United States Patent [191 Kobernick 4] TISSUE STAINING AND PROCESSING MACHINE [75] Inventor: Sidney David Kobernick, Detroit,

[52] US. Cl 118/5, 118/6, 118/11,

118/12, 118/57, 118/425 [51] Int. Cl. 1305c 11/12 [58] Field of Search 118/4, 5, 6, 12, 421, 425,

118/7, 8; 117/113, 114 A, 114 B, 114C, 114 R; 74/12 Q; 134/79, 80

[56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,302,607 2/1967 Kobernick 118/425 X Primary ExaminerMorris Kaplan Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Cullen, Settle, Sloman & Cantor [451 Apr. 30, 1974 [57] ABSTRACT A tissue-staining or processing machine houses a gear motor to effect intennittent vertical reciprocation of a gear rack and a connected slide or tissue sample carrier for corresponding movements in registry with and successively into a series of tank supporting compartments arranged in a circle within an intermittently rotated turntable. A plurality of dye and solvent tanks are supported within some of the compartments; and a rinse tank is housed below the turntable in registry with the slide or tissue sample carrier which decends through an open compartment. A motor drive provides intermittent rotation of the turntable to present successive tanks to the carrier for dipping therein. Each compartment has its own external timing device for determining the period of immersion of the slide carrier in the corresponding tank, i.e., controlling duration of stopping of carrier lift motor including a potentiometer for each timer. Extended time periods of repetitive timing are provided at the same stations employing a stepping coil. Some of the tanks may have thermostatically controlled heating elements to regulate the solution temperature, also cooling elements.

18 Claims, 14 Drawing Figures PMENTEDAPR 30 mm 33071353 SHEET 2 OF 3 50 56:. m 50 Mm max PROCE 5S TISSUE STAINING AND PROCESSING MACHINE The present invention relates to a tissue-staining and processing machine, and an improvement over my Pat. No. 3,302,607.

It is an object of the present invention to provide a novel tissue-staining and processing machine by which the vertically adjustable slide carrier or tissue basket carrier may be mounted over and above a compartmented turntable, with a plurality of tanks in said compartments containing various dyes and solvents used in a staining process and processing of tissues and with power means for effecting intermittent incremental rotation of the turntable so as to present differenttanks successively into the path of vertical reciprocal movement of the slide carrier, and by which various slides with tissue within the carrier or capsules containing samples of tissue are successively and for variable periods immersed within various dyes, solvents, and embedding media in tha tanks, and provide for rinsing at any stage of the process.

As background for the present invention and for the purpose of staining tissue for microscopic examination, the tissue specimen is taken from the operating room and cut into thin slices or strips approximately 3 to 4 mm. in thickness. These constitute samples of tissue which are required to be processed for preparation of microscopic slides for examination under the microscope. By a dehydrating process dipping in alcohol tanks, alcohol replaces the water in the strips. This is followed by a clearing process to eliminate the alcohol and substitute toluol, for example, a paraffin solvent. The tissue is then impregnated with paraffin at approximately 60 C. using several paraffin baths. At this temperature the toluol evaporates and is replaced by the paraffin. Such tissue processing may be accomplished by a modification of the present machine. The tissue is then placed in a mold and liquid paraffin is poured therein, to provide a solid block of paraffin wax which incorporates the tissue sample. This provides a convenient means by which the tissue sample may be cut into very, very thin slicesusing a Microtome machine which cuts thin sections off the bottom plane of the block of wax including the specimen to thus provide sections which are approximately 4 to microns in thickness. (50 microns=0.003 inches.)

A section produced is then mounted upon a glass slide and dried in an oven at approximately 55 C. which is under the melting point of the wax so that the slide is now ready for staining and for use with the present invention. The foregoing steps in preparing the slide for staining are conventional steps and are merely set forth for the purpose of background and for better understanding of the present process.

The staining of the tissue must be preceded by the removal of all of the wax, i.e., a reversal of the process set forth eliminating the wax using the present apparatus. Accordingly, of the tanks above referred to, there are at least two or more tanks containing toluol, and tanks containing alcohol. Provision is also provided for an additional tank containing water for rinsing purposes. The foregoing steps are involved in the removal of the wax from the tissue specimen of the slide.

There are various staining processes each of which differs in detail and uses a plurality of different dyes and wherein the tissue upon the slide is removably immersed within a series of tanks in a succession of steps.

The tanks contain various dyes into which the slide carrier is successively immersed for predetermined periods which are variable, and thereafter, dipped alternately or successively, into a water or rinsing tank.

It is another object to provide power and control ,means by which the turntable which mounts a series of tanks is positioned in a horizontal plane and is rotatable so that the tanks are successively positioned under the path of movement of the vertically reciprocal slide or tissue sample carrier.

It is another object to provide a device by which the various dipping steps take place in succession to complete a cycle of operation for a particular staining or tissue processing operation, depending upon the solutions employed.

It is another object to provide a timing means in association with the control for reciprocal movement of the tissue specimen or slide carrier by which the period of immersion of the slide carrier in a particular tank can be variably controlled selectively.

It is another object to provide thermostatically controlled heating or cooling for any of the staining or processing tanks as desired It is another object to provide for continuous limited vibrations of the slide or tissue sample carrier during the staining and rinsing operations.

These and other objects will be seen from the follow ing specification and claims in conjunction with the appended drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a fragmentary vertical section of the tissuestaining and processing machine.

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary broken away and sectioned view thereof.

FIG. 3 is a fragmentary section taken in the direction of arrows 33 of FIG. 2, on an increased scale.

. FIG. 4 is a fragmentary plan view of one of the turntable compartments, with tank and slide carrier.

FIG. 5 is a front elevational view of an end wall of a turntable compartment with adjustable pointer and time dial.

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary section taken in the direction of arrows 66 of FIG. 2, on an increased scale.

FIG. 7 is a sectional view of the timing control.

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary front elevational view of the selector control.

FIG. 9 is a fragmentary section taken in the direction of arrows 99 of FIG. 5.

FIG. 10 is a schematic wiring diagram of the electrical circuit, motors and switches.

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary top perspective view of. the tissue staining and processing machine.

FIG. 12 is a fragmentary section taken in the direction of arrow 12 of FIG. 2, on an increased scale.

FIG. 13 is a perspective view of a modified basket for tissue capsule or samples corresponding to FIG. 1.

FIG. 14 is similar to FIG. 13 showing the mounting of a second basket.

It will be understood that the above drawings illustrate merely a preferred embodiment of the invention, and that other embodiments are contemplated within the scope of the claims hereafter set forth.

HOUSING Referring to the drawing, FIG. 1, the tissue staining and processing machine includes a housing with apertured bottom platform 11, top platform 12, spaced upright legs 13 connected at 14 to the top platform and GEAR MOTOR FOR VERTICAL RECIPROCATIONS OF SLIDE CARRIER Upon the interior of the housing is provided apertured platform 18 pivoted at 19 upon rod 20 on leg 13. The free side of platform is connected to cam 21 driven by motor 22 upon platform 11. This provides continuous vibratory motion to gear motor 23.

Gear motor 23 has an intermittently rotatable output shaft 24 keyed to gear 25, which drives gear rack 27. Gear rack 27 is pivotally connected at 28 by yoke 29 to reciprocal shaft 30. Shaft 30 is mounted upon and projects above the housing assembly. Shaft 30 is guidably positioned through elongated upright bushing 31, of nylon, for illustration, which is rotatably mounted and supported upon upright journal block 32 secured at 33 to top plate 12. Bushing 31 includes an enlarged shoulder 34 supportably mounted upon journal block 32 with ball bearings interposed, FIG. 2.

Rotatable bearing 35 is keyed to collar 36 on peripherally apertured wheel 37 forming part of a Geneva movement. Wheel 37 is positioned above bushing 31 with ball bearings interposed. Screw 39 is threaded into the lower end of hub 41. Flanged cover 43 overlies and is spot welded to turntable 42. Nut 44 is threaded over the upper end of the bushing and bears against said cover.

TURNTABLE As viewed in FIGS. 1 and 11 turntable 42 coaxial to bushing 31 and shaft 30, includes a series of vertically apertured radially extending compartments 45 arranged in a circle at a radius corresponding substantially to the path of vertical movement of slide carrier 52 connected to reciprocal shaft 30.

Each tank 47 has an external ledge 46 to supportably mount the tank 47 on the turntable to contain a dye or solvent or solution for use in slide staining processing of tissue samples. Each compartment has a planar upright end face 48, mounting a calibrated time dial 66, FIG. 5.

SLIDE CARRIER Inverted U-shaped rod 49 is positioned above the housing and at one end axially secured at 50 to shaft 30. Suspended from its other end 51 is slide carrier 52 within which a larger number of slides may be mounted in compact relationship, FIG. 4, or a tissue sample basket 109, FIG. 13, in which samples of tissue contained in metal capsules or in preformed compartments within the basket.

TURNTABLE MOTOR Turntable motor 53 is mounted on and under platform 12, FIGS. 1, 2 and 12, and through cam 54 rotates the eccentric pin 57. The latter operatively and successively engages the peripheral radially extending apertures 38 in wheel 37. This provides a Geneva type of movement, and upon operation of motor 53 produces intermittent incremental rotation of wheel 37 and hub 41 connected thereto; which in turn is secured to tumtable 42 for effecting corresponding incremental rotary movements thereof.

SAFETY INTERLOCK The apertures 38 in Geneva wheel 37 cooperate with a safety interlock assembly which includes flat 58 on cam 54. Follower 60 is rotatively mounted on platform 12 and biased into engagement with flat 58. In so doing, the leaf spring 61 actuates the normally open limit switch 63 which in electrical circuit provides power connection to gear motor 23.

The spacing of apertures 38' in wheel 37 corresponds to the spacing of compartments 45 in the turntable so that said compartments are positioned successively in vertical registry with the plane of reciprocal movement of slide carrier 52. Accordingly, until cam lock 62 registers with an aperture 38 switch 63 will be disengaged and open'cutting off power to gear motor 23, which controls vertical immersion movements of the slide carrier 52 down into the respective tank 47, FIG. 1.

As shown in FIGS. 1 and 2 the laterally extending bracket 64 on plate 12 mounts the rinsing tank 65 located in a plane in vertical alignment with slide carrier 52, and is arranged directly below turntable 42.

By the control mechanism employed, if no tank 47 is provided for a particular compartment in the turntable,

slide carrier 52 will descend an additional distancethrough an aperture in said compartment for immersion into rinsing tank 65 containing water or other rinsing solution, forming a part of the processing cycle.

In the use of the present machine, various staining processes may be provided by which the tissue slides are intermittently and successively immersed for predetermined and different periods of time in the tanks containing various dyes in a process which completes the staining operation. Some of the tanks will contain dyes, rinsing solvents, alcohol or toluol; and the rinsing tank 65 will preferably be connected to running water which is allowed to drain out through a drain.

VARIABLE TIMING OF IMMERSION FOR EACH COMPARTMENT A means is provided for regulating the time of immersion of slide carrier 52 within the various tanks in the various compartments of the horizontally disposed incrementally rotatable turntable 42.

TIMER CONTROL Upon each of the end faces 48 corresponding to each compartment 45 there is provided a timing dial 66, which may be an insert, calibrated at 67 in intervals that vary with the combination of potentiometer 74, FIG. 9, the number of steps in coil (1 CC) and the solid state time delay 72. Selection of a time by rotatable knob 68 is then accomplished by time delay 72 operating for one or more cycles through output counter stepping coil (1 CC) 75. When short times (less than 20 minutes per station are required) elimination of the stepping coil (1 CC) 75 is considered in equivalent circuit.

OPERATION OF IMMERSION MECHANISM In operation gear motor 23 is energized for a limited time so that gear rack 27 moves vertically and under suitable controls stops. This motion through shaft 30 causes a downward movement of slide carrier 52 so that it is immersed within a corresponding tank 47 and stops. The total time that it will be immersed depends upon the time desired and the control means by which the gear motor is reactivated for operation in the reverse direction to return slide carrier 42 to elevated position, FIG. 1.

TIMER The timing means comprises of an electronic timing system operating on an R-C circuit with the Resistance being an external variable potentiometer 74 mounted to the face 66 of each station. The Capacitance element of the R-C circuit is integral to a solid state relay mounted in a central control panel. To regulate the period of immersion, a voltage is impressed across the timing relay 72, FIG. 10. When the voltage across the internal capacitance reaches a fixed level in a variable time period as the current is controlled by the external variable potentiometer 74, a transistor emitter allows the base-to-collector current flow which is in series with a contact relay coil.

As the contact relay coil energizes the internal mechanical contacts close an open circuit ending the timing period and actuating contact relay 1 SC (75) through 1 TD-I. Because R-C circuits are undependable in long timing cycles, an external stepping relay 75 has been added so that multiple sequences are made when long time cycles (30-120 minutes) are required before the immersion period ends. At the last movement of the stepping coil an internal end switch ECC is operated. ECC actuates 6 CR which in turn actuates 2 SC the reset coil and 4 CR the timer up control through contacts 6 CR-2.

RINSING CONTROL Normally closed limit switch 90 at the base of each compartment, FIGS. 1, 2 and 3, is so connected that it will control gear motor 23 for driving gear rack 27. If no tank is positioned within a particular compartment 45, which would open the normally closed switch 90 through cantilever arm 91, then the gear motor when activated will cause the gear rack to travel to the lower wash position. At'this time it engages a limit switch to stop motion. It is this vertical movement of the gear rack which causes slide carrier 52 to move downwardly through the empty apertured compartment down into rinsing tank 65 directly therebelow.

At the same time the timer is actuated, and depending upon the setting of knob 68, FIG. 5, corresponding to a particular compartment, the time of immersion in the rinsing tank is thus controlled and at the end of that time the timer 72, FIG. 10 reactivates motor 23 in the reverse direction for causing the gear 25 to rotate and drive the rack to the elevated position shown in FIG. 1, elevating the slide carrier.

CYCLE SELECTOR CONTROL In connection with th dial 66 for each compartment a selector control, FIGS. 6, 8 and 9, is arranged upon the inside of each end face 48. The selector control includes knob 78 upon shaft 69 and has a central position wherein the depending arms 82, 83 projects downward as at 80 centrally through apertures 81 in end face 48. In this position of the selector control 78 the corresponding tank will be bypassed and the turntable will continue rotating until the next succeeding tank is positioned below the slide or tissue carrier.

The selector control includes a pair of angular opposed radiating arms 82 and 83 whose out turned end portions extend through corresponding apertures 81 in end plate 48 and terminate in control members normally spaced from the normally open switch actuating lever 86 of stop switch 87 and .the normally open switch actuating lever 88 of pass switch 89.

By rotating selector control knob 78 counterclock' wise from the position shown in FIG. 8, until the end portion 80 of arm 82 engages switch actuator 86, the stop switch 87 will be activated so that as the turntable positions this compartment and corresponding tank directly below the slide or tissue carrier, the cycle will stop after processing the station by not allowing gear motor 23 to actuate and raise slide or tissue carrier 52 until operator attended by actuating switch SW-3.

By rotating the selector control disc 78 in the opposite direction to a second position the control arm 83 as at 80 will engage contact 88 of pass switch 89 so that the station will be passed during cycles not requiring immersion into the corresponding solution tank.

SWITCHES The following switches are employed in connection with the electrical circuit shown in FIG. 10 for the sequential control and operation of the turntable drive motor 53 and gear motor 23 which operate in a cycle so as to effect intermittent successive rotary movements of turntable 42 and alternate vertical reciprocations of slide carrier 52. The downward movement of the slide carrier is interrupted to maintain the slide carrier within the particular tank for a pre-set period and for automatically actuating the gear motor in the opposite direction for withdrawing the slide carrier.

No. 1. Gear motor cut-off switch is energized by gear rack 27 when the rack returns to the elevated position shown in FIG. 1.

No. 2. When the gear 25, FIG. I, has lowered rack 27 from the position shown, it engages a normally open stop switch closing the same to deactivate gear motor 23, and at the same time energize the timer assembly 72 which controls the period of immersion of the slide carrier within the corresponding tank.

No. 3. If a solution tank 47 is not present there is also a normally closed control switch engaged by the gear rack 27 to deactivate the gear motor and to start the timer 72. When the timer has been activated automatically through completion of the timing cycle with exterior potentiometer 74 the output signal is activated for effecting a reversal of gear motor 23 returning the gear rack 27 to the elevated position shown in FIG. 1.

No. 8. Interlock switch 61-63, FIG. 2, under the control of Geneva movement 37-38 and detent 58 by which until the turntable has been properly located so as to place a compartment and tank therein directly below the slide carrier, the gear motor 23 may not be energized and the slide carrier lowered.

No. 4. A limit switch 76 which senses that the index motor 53 has made 360 of rotation and actuates coil 2 CR to stop rotation and energize the downward travel of gear rack 27.

No. 5. A pass switch 89 having a normally open contact 88 which when engaged by the selector arm 83 is closed so that when the turntable reaches this particular compartment it will continue on to the next station.

No. 6. The stop switch 87 of FIG. 6 includes a normally closed switch element 86 which when actuated by the selector control arm 82 opens the circuit to both motors for stopping the cycle at any particular tank corresponding to any predetermined position of the turntable such as to end a particular dye process.

No. 7. A normally closed second control switch 90 in each of the compartments 45 and which is open upon positioning of the tank therein. Thus, the gear motor 23 will provide limited movement of gear rack 27. However, when the tank has been removed leaving an open space, the normally closed switch 90 remains closed and is intended to control the operation of motor 23 so that th gear rack travels the full downward stroke. This causes the slide carrier to move downwardly through the aperture of the empty compartment and down into the rinsing tank 65 directly below, FIG. 1.

There are a number of switches in the electrical circuit, FIG. 10, by which the results are achieved. With a large number of tanks positioned within the turntable the time of immersion of all of the tanks could be the same or could be varied as desired or a particular tank could be skipped by setting the selector control to the neutral central position shown in FIG. 8 or the cycle could be stopped at that compartment by actuating switch 87 or the cycle could be maintained for continuous incremental and timed rotation of the turntable subsequent to each reversal of the immersing operation of the slide carrier, by actuating pass switch 89.

DRYING TANK At least one of the tanks 91, FIG. 2, may be a drying tank containing no dye or solvent. Tank 91 includes a series of electric resistance heating elements 92 and a small fan 93 connected to a power source.

HEATED OR COOLING TANKS One or more tanks 91 with solution may be insulated and have thermostatically controlled heating elements 92, FIG. 2, allowing them to be maintained 40 60 C. or 3640 C. A suitable 110 volt circuit would be provided including movable contacts.

Drying tank 91, FIG. 1, is illustrative of the form of tank for heat control of fluids where the fan 93 may be omitted. Here the heating elements 92 are connected to adjustable thermostat control 94. A pair of concentric conductors 95 are mounted on the under surface of the drive wheel 37 for the turntable and are connected by leads 96 to control 94. Similarly spaced contacts or communtating bars 97 on platform 12 are in continuous registry with said conductors respectively for connection to AC power source 98.

IDENTIFICATION OF COMPONENTS IN DIAGRAM FIG.

Coil No. 4 Contact Relay to Provide M2 23 I Lift. lCR Contact Relay Coil No. l Contact Relay to Isolate All Other Functions During Index. 2TD Time Delay Coil No. 2 Time Delay to Allow Dip Cycle. LS I Limit Switch No. 1 Indicates Slide Carrier 52 is in Full Up Position. LS-2 Limit Switch No. 2 Indicates Slide Carrier is in Staining Tanks 47. LS-3 Limit Switch No. 3 Indicates Slide Carrier is in Rinse Tank 65. LS4 Limit Switch No. 4 (76) Indicates indexing motor was traveled 360. LS-S Limit Switch NO. 5 (89) Indicates Tissues Should Pass On.

LS-6 Limit Switch No. 6 (87) Indicates Tissues Should Process and Stop in Down Position. LS-7 Limit Switch No. 7 (90) Indicates if Station is to be I Staining or Rinsing. LS-S Limit Switch No. 8 (63) Provides a safety function so that unit cannot attempt to index and immerse simultaneously. P Plug Grounded Plug to ll()v.A.C., 60

cycles. L-I Light Pilot Light. L-Z Light Light to Indicate end of cycle. SW4 Switch No. 4 Push button type to Actuate SCR and Terminate the Timing Cycle. 6CR Contact Relay Coil No. 6 Contact Coil to Terminate Stepping Coil Action During SCR Manual Timing Cycle Termination. 2SC Stepping Relay Coil No. 2 Resets Contact Coil lSC Upon Termination of Count. ST-l Thermostat No. 1 ST-n to n Thermostats built into 91 for temperature regulation. H1, Hn Heating Element No. l-Hn Heating Coils 92 for providing warm Solutions during Processing. 2CR Contact Relay Coil No. 2 Contact Relay to Actuate Motor 23 to Lower Slide Carrier 52.

DESCRIPTION OF OPERATION After the Slide or Tissue Processing Machine is plugged in (P) and the power switch is turned on (SW-1) indicated by pilot light (L-l) the indexing sequence is as follows, with schematic shown in the load mode; FIG. 10: (note bracketed numbers).

l. SW-3 is turned to process after the loading is complete.

2. 2TD is energized causing the time cycle to elapse. After the time delay 2TD-1 (7-8) causes Contact Relay Coil No. 1 to energize. This in turn closes the contact 1CR-2 (20-21) and energizes the Index Motor 53. After approximately 330 of rotation a cam on Geneva Drive 58 causes the action of LS-4. LS-4 then actuates 2CR which simultaneously releases the AC. voltage to Index Motor 53 and applies DC. voltage to the motor tronic timing circuit is completed ITD Coil actuates causing the internal contact points ITD-l to pulse 18C and (b) actuation of 3CR which starts pulse motor M3 through contacts 3 CR-l.

5. Pulsing lSC resets ITD through 1SC-1 and the timing cycle starts again. After the proper number of stepping pulses have been completed, the end detector ECC is closed actuating coil 6CR.

6. 6CR-2 (-17) then senses through LS-6 if the unit is to stop at this station or continue processing. Assuming a continuation is required 4CR coil will actuate re- .versing the tower motor field through 4CR-2 and connecting to line voltage through 4CR-4 and actuating M2 as to raise the slide basket 52 through carrier arm 49.

7. Release of either LS-2 or LS-3 as the shaft 30 moves upward stops the rotation of pulse motor 22 through the release of 3CR and subsequently 3CR-1.

8. When the slide carrier 52 reaches the full up position actuation of LS-l releases 4 CR held by 4CR-1 and stops the elevation of tower motor 23.

9. Operation of LS-l renews power to 2TD and starts the dip cycle and machine sequence over again. Also it releases 2SC through LS-l, 6CR-2, LS-6, 2SC to reset the stepping coil.

10. If during step 6. LS-6 has been reversed by actuator 88, L2 light will indicate that the unit has finished its timing cycle. Operator attendance to the completed processing actuates SW-3 which actuates 4CR and elevates the slide carrier 52 as describd in Step 6. However, when LS-l operates limiting the upward travel the dip cycle and subsequent station processing does not repeat until SW-3 is returned to the process position through (4-5).

1 1. Note that the addition of SW-2 to the circuit allows the operator to index the tissue processor to any desired station so that other processing techniques can be tried if desired.

l2. Introduction of SW-4 in the circuit allows the operator to shorten or abort the station during the timing cycle by introducing a direct contact 5CR-1 across the station timing device ITD. In addition the operation of 5CR places 5CR-2 contacts into the stepping coil circuit causing it to step to the final position ECC and recycle through reset coil ZSC.

FIG. 13 illustrates in perspective a modified basket 109 which includes a support bracket 101 anchored at 103 to the depending arm 51 of support 49 as shown in FIG. 11.

The flexible bracket arms 105 include projecting fasteners 107 which engage within corresponding apertures 113 in the respective upright side walls of said basket, perforated throughout at 111 and which includes the bottom wall.

FIG. 14 illustrates the attachment to the bracket arm 49-51, FIGS. 1 l and 13, of a secondary but similar basket 125. This attachment includes bracket arm 115 whose clamp 117 extends around a portion of the bracket 49 and is secured thereto by set screw 119.

Bracket 115 terminates in a depending support 121 similar to and parallel to support 51 of FIG. 14 and which is connected to secondary basket 101 as by the connection 123.

Having described my invention, reference should now be had to the following claims.

I claim:

1. In a tissue-staining and processing machine,

a housing;

a gear motor on the housing including a gear connected to a movable intermittently gear rack;

an intermittently and vertically reciprocal shaft guidably mounted upon and projecting above the housing flexibly and pivotally connected to said rack;

an inverted U-shaped rod at one end axially secured to said shaft;

a slide or tissue sample carrier suspended from its other end for reciprocal intermittent movement in a vertical plane;

a turntable co-axial of said shaft journalled upon said housing for rotation in a horizontal plane below said carrier;

the series of apertured support compartments in the turntable arranged in a circle at a radius corresponding substantially to the carrier;

a plurality of dye and solvent carrying tanks nested respectively in a number of said compartments adapted to receive said slide carrier on downward movement thereof for immersion of tissue carrying slides or tissue samples in said carrier;

a motor on the housing connected to the turntable to intermittently rotate the turntable short incremen tal distances equal to the distance between tank centers;

and a stationary rinsing tank mounted upon said housing below said turntable and carrier;

said carrier adapted to drop through an empty compartment of the turntable when stationary for immersion in said rinsing tank.

2. In the tissue-staining and processing machine of claim 1, the motor driven gear adapted on limited rotation to cause immersion of said carrier in a tank at one position of the turntable; and on further rotation to cause immersion of said carrier insaid rinsing tank at another position of said turntable.

3. In the tissue-staining and processing machine of claim 1, a first control means to intermittently actuate and reverse said gear motor and gear cycle; and second control means connected to said turntable motor to intermittently actuate the same after the completion of each cycle.

4. In the tissue-staining and processing machine of claim 1, the gear adapted to vertically move said gear rack to cause immersion of said carrier in a tank; and to vertically move said gear rack to cause immersion of said carrier in said rinsing tank; and switching means connected to said gear motor limiting travel when the turntable positions a tank below said carrier; but permits further gear rack travel when the corresponding turntable compartment has no tank.

5. In the tissue-staining and processing machine of claim 1, the turntable operating motor including a Geneva movement.

6. In the tissue-staining and processing machine of claim 1, the turntable operating motor including a Geneva movement; a safety interlock including a normally open switch in a circuit to said gear motor; a cam on the drive for the Geneva movement; a spring biased follower engaging said cam and connected to said switch.

7. In the tissue-staining and processing machine of claim 1, said turntable having angularly related upright end faces at the outer end of each compartment arranged in a circle; and a timer mechanism including an electric circuit, a calibrated time dial on each face, a

manually rotatable knob on each dial for adjusting a potentiometer connected thereto for presetting the period of immersion of the carrier in the tank corresponding to said end face.

8. in the tissue-staining and processing machine of claim 1, said turntable having angularly related upright end faces at the outer end of each compartment arranged in a circle; and a timing mechanism having internal contacts and including an electicl circuit, a calibrated time dial on each face; a manually rotatable knob on each dial for adjusting a potentiometer connected thereto for presetting the period of immersion of the carrier in the tank corresponding to said end face; said circuit including a normally open safety interlock switch connected to said gear motor and closeable on predetermined rotation of the turntable; a normally closed stop switch engageable by said gear rack when driven by the gear motor to start the timing mechanism; and a normally open first control switch engageable by said gear rack and connected to said gear motor for automatic deactivation and return of said timer closing its internal contacts.

9. In the tissue-staining and processing machine of claim 1, said turntable having angularly related upright end faces at the outer end of each compartment arranged in a circle; and a timer mechanism having internal contacts and including an electrical circuit, a calibrated time dial on each face, a manually rotatable knob on each dial for adjusting a potentiometer connected thereto for presetting the period of immersion of the slide carrier in the tank corresponding to said end face; said circuit including a normally open safety interlock switch connected to said gear motor and closeable on predetermined rotation of the turntable; a normally closed stop switch engageable by said gear rack when moved to de-energize the gear motor and start the timing mechanism and a normally open first control switch engageable by said gear rack and connected to said gear motor for automatic deactivation of said timer closing its internal contacts, and a normally closed second control switch in each compartment for actuating the gear motor for positioning the carrier in said rinse tank; a tank positioned in any compartment de-energizing and opening said second control switch; and a normally closed stop switch engageable by said gear rack arm to de-energize the crank motor and start the timing mechanism.

10. In the tissue-staining and processing machine of claim 1, a platform pivotally mounted on said housing supporting said gear motor; and a power rotated cam supportably engaging said platform effecting continuous vibration of said gear motor, gear, connected gear rack, shaft and carrier.

11. In the tissue-staining and processing machine of claim 1, said turntable having angularly related upright end faces at the outer end of each compartment arranged in a circle; and a timing mechanism having internal contacts and including an electrical circuit, a calibrated time dial on each face; a manually rotatable knob on each dial for adjusting a potentiometer connected thereto for presetting the period of immersion of the carrier in the tank corresponding to said end face, and a selector control on each compartment end face including a central neutral position; a stop switch connected to the turntable and gear motors; a normally open process switch interconnecting the timing mechanism and gear motor; and a pair of radiating arms extending from said selector control adapted on rotary adjustments in one of two directions to actuate said stop switch to deactivate the turntable and gear motors, and in a second position actuate said process switch to energize said timing mechanism.

12. In the tissue-staining and processing machine of claim 1, a first control means to intermittently actuate and reverse said gear motor and gear rack in a cycle; second control means connected to said turntable motor to intermittently actuate the same after the completion of each cycle; and third control means to allow a station to be skipped entirely.

13. In the tissue-staining and processing machine of claim 1, a first control means to intermittently actuate and reverse said gear motor and gear rack in a cycle; second control means connected to said turntable motor to intermittently actuate the same after the completion of each cycle; third control means to allow a station to be skipped entirely; and fourth control means to deactivate the turntable motor to stop the process at any station.

14. In the tissue-staining machine of claim 9, there being a potentiometer for each compartment end face time dial, said timing mechanism being external to said turntable and adapted for connection to each potentiometer respectively as its station is presented to and in registry with the carrier.

15. In the tissue-staining machine of claim 14, the timer including an R-C circuit with the variable resistance being the respective potentiometer, the capacitance element including a timing relay, so that said capacitance reaches a predetermined level in a variable time period controlled by said potentiometer, to actuate a contact relay coil closing the timer internal contacts ending the timing period, and a stepping relay coil for multiple time cycles.

16. In the tissue-staining machine of claim 1, electric resistance heaters in some of said tanks; a manually adjustable thermostatic control on said turntable connected respectively to said heaters; a pair of concentric contacts on said turntable connected to said control; and a pair of stationary contacts and said housing connected to a power source and engaging said concentric contacts respectively.

17. In the tissue staining machine of claim 1, said carrier including a basket whose bottom and side walls are perforated throughout; and an inverted U-shaped bracket connected to the other end of the U-shaped rod and including depending flexible fingers with fasteners removably interlocked with the basket.

18. In the tissue staining machine of claim 1, a second vslide or tissue sample carrier spaced laterally of the first mentioned carrier; and a laterally extending arm having a clamp at one end secured to the bight of said U- shaped rod, and at its other end terminating in a bracket removably connected to the second carrier.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3302607 *Apr 30, 1965Feb 7, 1967David Kobernick SidneyTissue-staining and processing machine
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3976028 *Jan 17, 1975Aug 24, 1976Newman-Howells Associates LimitedAutomatic article immersion apparatus
US3986518 *Nov 24, 1975Oct 19, 1976Toyo Giken Kogyo Kabushiki KaishaWork article handling system in surface treatment apparatus
US4001460 *Mar 5, 1975Jan 4, 1977Kinney Thomas DLight microscopy processing method
US4043292 *Jul 21, 1975Aug 23, 1977Corning Glass WorksMicroscope slide staining apparatus having temperature control
US4485761 *Feb 25, 1982Dec 4, 1984Brent Chemicals InternationalApparatus for treating work pieces
US5601650 *May 26, 1992Feb 11, 1997Medite Gesellschaft Fur Medizintechnik MbhProcess and device for dyeing histological preparations arranged on microscope slides
US6080363 *Sep 18, 1997Jun 27, 2000Kabushiki Kaisha Tiyoda SeisadushoAn automatic staining apparatus for staining specimens of vital tissues for microscopic examination
US6939512 *Mar 18, 2002Sep 6, 2005Leica Mikrosysteme GmbhA reception with at least one chamber for the accommodation of at least one processing container wherein the device is pivotable with respect to a housing of the apparatus.
US7232546 *Mar 18, 2002Jun 19, 2007Leica Mikrosysteme GmbhApparatus for tissue processing for the tissue embedding
US7449341 *Sep 12, 2002Nov 11, 2008BiomerieuxMethod and device for isolation and/or determination of an analyte
US7585465 *Jun 15, 2006Sep 8, 2009Logan Instruments Corp.Dipping mechanism for dipping sample holders into test tubes and a filling and rinsing mechanism for filling test tubes with media and rinsing used test media out of the test tubes are mounted on a common structure with the test tubes being moved to alternatingly be operated upon by the two mechanisms
US7713484Oct 1, 2008May 11, 2010Biomerieuxsuspending reaction drops, forced microconvection
US8831776 *Aug 27, 2009Sep 9, 2014Sakura Finetek U.S.A., Inc.Integrated tissue processing and embedding systems, and methods thereof
US20110054679 *Aug 27, 2009Mar 3, 2011Sakura Finetek U.S.A., Inc.Integrated tissue processing and embedding systems, and methods thereof
CN102175499BJan 31, 2011Sep 5, 2012浙江世纪康大医疗科技有限公司Temperature-controlled heating device for dyeing instrument
EP1243911A1 *Mar 22, 2001Sep 25, 2002Leica Mikrosysteme GmbHDevice for tissue preparation
Classifications
U.S. Classification118/702, 118/667, 118/707, 118/57, 118/425
International ClassificationG01N1/30, G01N1/31
Cooperative ClassificationG01N1/31, G01N2001/315, G01N1/312
European ClassificationG01N1/31, G01N1/31B