US 3890844 A
A sampling device is disclosed which is capable of being clamped to the surface of a stone and other portable solid underwater objects to which periphytic cells adhere and which will retain the sample cells in a closed container, while the object, sampling device and cells are transported as a unit to a laboratory or other place of testing. The device includes a hollow body having a top, a bottom, and an integral annular side wall connecting top and bottom, an aperture in the bottom and a rigid tubular collar extending from the margin defining the aperture, a sealing collar surrounding the rigid collar, and adapted to sealingly engage the surface of the object being sampled with the hollow body. A stoppered access opening is provided in the top of the hollow body for inserting a cleaning implement for removing periphytic cells from the solid object. A clamp is provided for clamping the hollow body to a solid object in sealed engagement therewith.
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
United States Patent [1 1 [111 3,890,844 Gale 1 1 June 24, 1975 PERIPHYTON SAMPLER AND METHOD FOR SAMPLING William F. Gale, River Rd., Wapwallopen, Pa. 18660 Filed: July 25, 1974 Appl. No.: 491,694
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 12/1962 Jackson et al. 73/425 12/1962 Fielding 73/4215 R 6/1965 Yates et al. 73/4215 R l/1967 Brundage, Jr 73/4254 R Primary ExaminerS. Clement Swisher  ABSTRACT A sampling device is disclosed which is capable of being clamped to the surface of a stone and other portable solid underwater objects to which periphytic cells adhere and which will retain the sample cells in a closed container, while the object, sampling device and cells are transported as a unit to a laboratory or other place of testing. The device includes a hollow body having a top, a bottom, and an integral annular side wall connecting top and bottom, an aperture in the bottom and a rigid tubular collar extending from the margin defining the aperture, a sealing collar surrounding the rigid collar, and adapted to sealingly engage the surface of the object being sampled with the hollow body. A stoppered access opening is provided in the top of the hollow body for inserting a cleaning implement for removing periphytic cells from the solid object. A clamp is provided for clamping the hollow body to a solid object in sealed engagement therewith.
8 Claims, 4 Drawing Figures PATENTEDJUN24 I975 3.880.844
IIIIHIF iiilllH! PERIPHYTON SAMPLER AND METHOD FOR SAMPLING The invention pertains to a periphyton sampler attachable to a stone or other solid underwater object having periphytic cells adhering to it for containing the periphytic cells while the stone or other solid object is moved from underwater to a laboratory where the cells are removed from the stone while still contained by the sampler, and subsequently delivered to a collection vessel.
It is an object of this invention to provide a simple, lightweight periphyton sampler for use on stones, or other movable solid objects by a SCUBA diver, or person wading or snorkeling in shallow water to contain periphytic cells adhering to the stone, or other solid object, while the stone, or other solid object is removed from the water and transported to a laboratory where the periphytic cells are dislodged and delivered without spillage to a collection vessel.
It is another object of the invention to provide a sampling container comprising a hollow body having a bottom aperture which may be clamped to the surface of a stone having periphytic cells adhering to it in order to contain the cells while the stone is being transported to a laboratory. The hollow body includes an annular seal surrounding the bottom aperture to provide a liquid tight seal between the sampling container and the stone, or other solid object, from which periphytic cells are to be removed. One or more openings are provided in the top of the hollow body to provide access to the interior of the hollow body for insertion of an implement, such as a brush, ultrasonic probe, and the like, to aid in removing the periphytic cells from the object to which they are adhered. A drain is provided through the side wall of the hollow body to deliver the dislodged cells and water trapped in the hollow body to a collection vessel without spillage.
With the foregoing more important objects and features in view and such other objects and features which may become apparent this specification proceeds, the invention will be understood from the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawing, in which like characters of reference are used to designate like parts and in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the invention in position for attachment to an underwater stone;
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view of the invention clamped to a stone and resting on a laboratory table and conditioned to discharge a sample into a collection vessel;
FIG. 3 is a vertical cross'sectional view taken on line 33 of FIG. 2; and
FIG. 4 is a vertical cross-sectional view taken on line 4-4 of FIG. 3.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION Referring to the drawing, the invention, designated generally by the reference numeral 10, includes a container 11 and clamping means C for clamping the container to a stone 40 or other movable solid underwater object to which periphytic cells are adhered. The container 11 comprises a hollow body having a bottom 12, a top 13 and an annular side wall 14. The bottom 12 has an aperture 16 therethrough which is defined by a circular margin 15. A rigid tubular'collar 17, of acrylic resin, or other rigid non-corrosive material has one end extending outwardly from the bottom 12 and its other end affixed to the bottom inside the margin by a suitable adhesive such as an epoxy adhesive. An annular and pliable sealing collar 18, of an elastomeric foam material, such as neoprene foam, surrounds the rigid collar 17 and is frictionally retained thereon. One end of the sealing collar 18 extends outwardly beyond the outer end of the collar 17 while its other end fits tightly within the annular bottom recess 19. The outer end of the sealing collar 18 is adapted to yield sufficiently to sealingly engage the surface of a solid object 40 having surface irregularities thereon. A pair of access openings 20, 20 are provided in the top of the hollow body 11 through which a cleaning implement, such as a brush, ultrasonic cleaning probe, or other suitable cleaning device, may be inserted inorder to loosen the periphytic cells adhering to the solid object 40. In FIGS. 2 and 3 an ultrasonic probe 41 is shown in outline form as it would be inserted through the opening 20 in actual use. Rubber stoppers 21, 21 are provided to close the apertures 20, 20' during transport of the sampler and stone from underwater to a laboratory. A drain conduit 22 projects outwardly from the side wall of the hollow body 11 for discharging a sample of water and periphytic cells into a collecting vessel J through a flexible tube T. A central boss 25 projecting outwardly from the top 13 of the hollow body 11 has a central socket 26 therein in which the ball end 36 ofa clamping screw 34 is rotatably mounted and secured by swaging the end 27 of the boss 25. Triangularly shaped reinforcing gussets 28 extend from the central boss 25 in opposite directions to the peripherial edge of the top 13. The interior cavity 42 of the hollow body 11 is defined by an inverted frusto-conical interior surface 23 which slopes inwardly and downwardly from the wide top margin 24 to the smaller circular margin 15.
The container 11 may be clamped to a stone 40 by any suitable clamping means, including but not limited to, rubber bands, a C-clamp, and the preferred bar clamp illustrated in the drawing. The bar clamp C includes a straight rigid bar 29, a fixed jaw 30 attached to one end of the bar 29 and a sliding jaw 31. The sliding jaw 31 has a square hole 32 at one end slidably receiving the square cross-sectioned bar 29, and a threaded bore 33 rotatably receiving the screw clamp 34. As previously stated the screw clamp 34 has a ball end 36 rotatably attached to the container 11. At its opposite end, the screw clamp has a circular handle portion 35 which may be grasped for turning the screw 34 in the desired direction. The bottom surface 45 of the fixed jaw 30 is flat so that the clamp C will rest in a vertical position on a table or other flat horizontal surface 44 as shown in FIG. 2. The outer end of the jaw 30 has a cupped disc 37 rotatably affixed thereto by a pivot stud 38. The disc 38 provides a bottom support for the stone as illustrated in FIGS. 3 and 4. The fastening of the container 11 to the screw 34 in the sliding jaw 31 by means of the ball 36 and socket 26 permits the container 11 to tilt to fit the contour of round stones, while the rubber collar 18 yields to accommodate small irregularities on the stones surface. The lower rock support 37 is permitted to tilt to accommodate round stones by elevating the head 38' of the stud 38 about one-eighth of an inch above the jaw 30, and providing an aperture 37' through the disc 37 which is slightly larger than the diameter of the stud 38.
A rubber cap 43 is provided for removable attachment to the end of the drain conduit 22 (See FIG. 1) so that the conduit may be closed for trapping liquid inside the container 11.
The hollow body 11 is preferably made from light weight, non-corrosive materials, such as a molded aluminum magnesium alloy. Also the clamp C is of light weight construction and may be made from the same material as the hollow body 11.
The term periphyton, which appears herein, is used in accordance with the definition appearing in Collegiate Dictionary of Zoology" by Robert W. Pennak (l964) Ronald Press, Co., New York, P. 583, to include entire assemblage of organisms (mostly microscopic) on submerged objects in aquatic environments. A periphytic cell, is a single celled organism belonging to the periphyton group.
OPERATION OF THE INVENTION In use the periphyton sample is taken to the place where sample periphytic cells are to be found, usually at the bottom of a body of water, such as a stream, river, lake and shallow bays and lagoons which are accessible to a diver. A stone or other solid object, on the bottom of the body of water which has periphytic cells thereon is selected and the clamp C is adjusted so that the selected solid object 40 may be placed between the fixed jaw 30 and the container 11. Once the selected solid object is placed between the fixed jaw 30 and the container 11, the sliding jaw 31 is moved toward the fixed jaw 30 until the container 11 is seated on the solid object 40. The handle 35 of the screw clamp 34 is then turned in the direction of the arrow 42 in FIG. 1. to force the container 11 against the solid object 40. In so doing the sliding jaw 31 will cant relative to the bar 29 and be locked in a fixed position as opposite top and bottom edges of the jaw 31 surrounding the square hole 32 grip the bar. It will be understood that the square hole 32 is sufficiently loose on the bar 29 to permit easy sliding of the jaw 31 relative to the bar 29, and to per mit slight canting of the jaw relative to the bar for the purpose of locking the jaw in a fixed position when a canting force is applied to the jaw by screwing the screw clamp 34 against a stone located between the fixed jaw 30 and the container 11.
Once the container 11 is clamped against the stone 40, the operator makes sure that the stoppers 21, 21' are in place in the top access holes 20, and that a closure cap 43 is in place over the outer end of the drain conduit 22. The stone and container 11 with a sample of water and periphytic cells trapped inside of the container 11 are then removed from the body of water in which the stone was found and transported to a laboratory or other suitable station for further han dling. In the laboratory the clamp C with stone 40 and container 11 vertically stacked on top of the jaw are placed on a flat surface 44 in the position illustrated in FIG. 1. The stopper 21 and 21 either one or both may then be removed without spilling the sample, and an implement 41 may be inserted inside the container 11 through one of the access openings 20, 20' to assist in removing the periphytic cells from the surface of the stone 40. For purpose of illustration the cleaning implement 41 is an ultrasonic vibrations are able to dislodge periphytic cells located deep within the pores of the stone. Other cleaning implements such as a brush or scraper which are capable of removing the periphytic cells from the surface of the stone 40 may be used in lieu of the ultrasonic probe. The drain tube T, leading to a collection reservior J, is attached to the drain conduit 22 before cleaning of the stones surface begins. The ultrasonic cleaner tip 41 is cooled by a fine mist of water that sprays forth continually while the tip is vibrating. During cleaning, water inside the container 11 overflows periodically into the reservoir J. It is helpful to get rid of dislodged particles, which cloud the water, as cleaning proceeds so that the surface of the rock can be observed.
When a brush is used to dislodge periphyton the inside of the container 11 is periodically flushed out with a squirt bottle so that the surface of the stone can be viewed. The flushing liquid and periphytic cells flow by gravity from the container 11 into the collection vessel J. Once the periphytic cells and liquid are collected in the vessel J, samples may be taken at will for examination under a microscope, or for other tests.
While in the foregoing there has been described and shown a preferred embodiment of the invention, various modifications and equivalents may be resorted to within the spirit and scope of the invention as claimed.
What is claimed is:
1. A periphyton sampler for underwater use by SCUBA divers on stones and other solid underwater objects to collect periphytic cells and the like from the solid object being sampled comprising a rigid hollow body member having a top, a bottom and an integral connecting side wall, an aperture through said bottom defined by a circular margin, a rigid cylindrical collar having one end extending outwardly from said bottom and its other end affixed to the bottom inside said margin, a pliable sealing collar surrounding said rigid collar frictionally retained thereon, said sealing collar having one end extending outwardly beyond said one end of said rigid collar in order to sealingly engage with the surface of a solid object having surface irregularities thereon, at least one opening in said top to permit the access of a cleaning implement inside of said hollow body to aid in removing periphytic cells from said stone, a stopper for closing said top opening, a conduit extending through said side wall for draining a sample from the hollow body, and means for clamping said hollow body to a solid object with said'sealing collar engaged in sealing relationship to the surface of said solid object.
2. The device according to claim 1 wherein said clamping means is a bar clamp having one straight rigid bar, a fixed clamping jaw extending at right angles to said rigid bar, a sliding clamping jaw slidably mounted on said rigid bar and extending parallel to said fixed jaw, a screw threaded bore extending through said sliding jaw at its one end remote from said rigid bar said bore being parallel to said rigid bar, and a screw clamp extending through said threaded bore and rotatably engaged therein, said screw clamp having one end rotatably engaged with the top of said hollow body and a handle on its end remote from said one end for screwing said clamp to move the hollow body toward and away from said fixed jaw.
3. The device according to claim 1 wherein said sealing collar is made from foamed elastomeric material.
4. The device according to claim 1 wherein said bottom has an annular recess surrounding said rigid collar and said sealing collar is seated in said annular recess.
5. The device according to claim 1 wherein the side wall of' said hollow body has an interior surface which is an inverted frusto conical shape, sloping inwardly and downwardly from a relatively wide top margin to said circular margin defining said bottom aperture.
6. A method for collecting periphytic cells attached to stones or other solid underwater objects comprising providing a sampling container having a bottom aperture, a seal surrounding the bottom aperture, a drain conduit for draining liquid from the container, at least one access opening in the top of the container, and removable closures for the drain conduit and access opening, selecting an underwater stone having attached periphytic cells, positioning the container over the stone with the seal in contact with the stone, clamping the container to the stone in the latter position, closing the drain and access opening to trap liquid inside the container and to contain the periphytic cells on the stone under the access opening, transporting the stone and container with trapped sample liquid and periphytic cells from underwater to a work station above water where the container is supported in an upright position, opening the access opening and inserting an implement through the access opening for dislodging the periphytic cells from the stone, dislodging the cells by use of the dislodging implement, opening the drain conduit and draining the trapped liquid and dislodged periphytic cells from the sampling container into a collection vessel.
7. The method according to claim 6 wherein an ultrasonic cleaning probe is used for dislodging the periphytic cells from the stone.
8. A periphyton sampler for use underwater to collect periphytic cells and the like which are adhered to the surface of a movable underwatersolid object, such as a stone, comprising a container having a top, a bottom, and an integral connecting side wall, an aperture through said bottom providing an open passage from the interior of the container outwardly, a seal secured to said bottom and surrounding said aperture, an access opening in the vicinity of the top of said container providing access for an implement to be inserted into the container for dislodging periphytic cells from the solid object, a drain conduit for draining a liquid sample containing periphytic cells from inside said container into a collection vessel, and means for closing said drain conduit and said access opening when said container is positioned with its bottom aperture adjacent and overlying a portion of the surface of said solid object with the seal in contact with said surface and providing a fluid tight connection between the container and said