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Publication numberUS3894845 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateJul 15, 1975
Filing dateMay 24, 1973
Priority dateMay 24, 1973
Publication numberUS 3894845 A, US 3894845A, US-A-3894845, US3894845 A, US3894845A
InventorsBernard Mcdonald
Original AssigneeBernard Mcdonald
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Urine collection and analysis device
US 3894845 A
A device useful in medical laboratories for receiving urine and performing analyses thereof is described. In a preferred embodiment urine flows into portions on either side of a unitary housing. The two side portions are interconnected by an overflow reservoir. Urine first fills a plurality of upper compartments having preselected volume and then overflows a weir into the reservoir. In the other side portion a trough receives urine and wicks transfer a limited quantity thereof to nutrient media. A special sample tube in the second side portion collects urine for sedimentation analysis. Excess urine overflows to the reservoir. A float in the reservoir closes off the weirs when the reservoir is filled. A slide in the first side portion is then removed to permit urine to flow from the upper compartments to lower compartments each of which contains an analysis reagent. An inner housing within the second side portion with nutrient media is removable for incubation.
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United States Patent 11 1 McDonald 1 July 15, 1975 1 URINE COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS DEVICE (76] Inventor: Bernard McDonald, 18212 Pacific Coast Hwy., Malibu. Calif. 90265 [22] Filed: May 24, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 363,383

[52] US. Cl 23/253 R; 23/259; 73/421 R; 128/2 F; 195/127; 233/1 R; 350/95 [51] Int. CL... A6lb 10/00; GOln l/10;GOln 33/16 [58] Field of Search 23/253 R. 259, 292, 230 B; 73/421 R; 128/2 F {56] References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3.466.145 9/1969 Van Duyne 23/253 R 3.475.102 10/1969 Larsen 23/253 R X 3.561.427 4/1968 Profy 128/2 F 3.635.091 l/1972 Linzer et al.... 73/421 R 3.692.493 9/1972 Terasaki 23/253 R X 3.713.780 l/l973 Shapiro 23/253 R X 3.715.189 2/1973 Nighohossian et a1 23/253 R X 3.722.503 3/1973 Hovick 128/2 F 3.774.455 11/1973 Seidler et al. 23/253 R X 3.785.773 1/1974 Rohrbaugh 23/253 R Primary Examiner-Joseph Scovronek Attorney. Agem. 0r FirmChristie, Parker 8!. Hale [57] ABSTRACT A device useful in medical laboratories for receiving urine and performing analyses thereof is described. In a preferred embodiment urine flows into portions on either side of a unitary housing. The two side portions are interconnected by an overflow reservoir. Urine first fills a plurality of upper compartments having preselected volume and then overflows a weir into the reservoir. in the other side portion a trough receives urine and wicks transfer a limited quantity thereof to nutrient media. A special sample tube in the second side portion collects urine for sedimentation analysis. Excess urine overflows to the reservoir. A float in the reservoir closes off the weirs when the reservoir is filled. A slide in the first side portion is then removed to permit urine to flow from the upper compartments to lower compartments each of which contains an analysis reagent. An inner housing within the second side portion with nutrient media is removable for incubation.

In another embodiment. urine is collected in a compartment that can be closed off by a float. At any convenient time thereafter a wall of the compartment can be ruptured to permit the urine to flow into a second compartment where a test reagent provides a urine analysis. In still another embodiment the patient urinates into a receiving vessel having side apertures near its bottom and mounted on a float. Initially. the urine flows from one aperture to a region beneath the float. After the float rises to a certain extent. the first aperture is occulted and urine overflows through a second aperture into a sample chamber. Thus. a midstream sample is obtained in the sample chamber.

11 Claims, 10 Drawing Figures l l l i l l l l l URINE COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS DEVICE BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Analysis of urine is one of the most commonly used medical techniques since the chemistry of a patients urine reflects so many physiological conditions. The techniques for collection and analysis are archaic to say the least. The usual technique is to have the patient provide a urine sample in a bottle or cup and this vessel is delivered to the laboratory. Open cups or bottles are susceptible to spillage and it is surprising how inept people are in placing caps on bottles.

When the sample reaches the laboratory it may sit around for some time before the technician gets around to performing the required analyses. For many chemical tests this is of no great concern since the urine does not change rapidly. When tests are to be made for microorganisms, however, it is desirable to commence culture growth promptly so that the viability of organism is assured. It is impossible to say how many culture tests are reported negative simply because the technicians have unduly delayed the commencement of growth. Samples for other tests (sugar, albumin, pH, etc.) are taken by pipetting an aliquot of the urine into a test vessel. Such techniques are time consuming and relatively unpleasant.

It is therefore desirable to provide a technique for obtaining urine samples with minimum chance for spillage between collection and the laboratory and where tests can be performed quickly and accurately with minimum time and mess.

For some tests, particularly for microorganism culture, it is desirable to obtain what is known as a midstream sample. The initial flow or urine may be contaminated with microorganisms from the external urethra and the initial portion of the steam is discarded. After this flushing action the balance of the stream may be collected for analysis. Previously this has been accomplished by having the patient urinate into more than one container or simply discard the first part of the stream and then urinate into the sample container. In children and elderly patients, such a technique is often unsatisfactory.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION There is, therefore, provided in practice of this invention according to a presently preferred embodiment, a urine collection and analysis device in the form of a unitary housing having a plurality of sample compartments in the housing. Urine is directed into the sample compartments and overflows into a reservoir when the compartments are filled. A float in the reservoir closes it off when it is filled and preferably stops flow of urine into the sample compartments at the same time. The sample compartments hold samples of selected volume which are subsequently discharged into reagent containing analysis compartments within the housing, wicks also lead to compartments with nutrient media for microorganism culture. This portion can be removed and placed in a controlled temperature oven as soon as received in the laboratory.

DRAWINGS These and other features and advantages of the present invention will be appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description when considered in connection with the accompanying drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 illustrates in perspective a urine collection and analysis device constructed according to principles of this invention;

FIG. 2 is a transverse cross section of the device;

FIG. 3 is a partial cutaway view of the device when filled with a removable portion having means for growing organism cultures exploded therefrom;

FIG. 4 illustrates a portion of the device having sample collection and analysis compartments;

FIG. 5 illustrates a centrifuge tube removed from the collection device and a test slide useful with it;

FIG. 6 illustrates a float for a collapsible embodiment of urine collection and analysis device;

FIG. 7 is a side view of another embodiment of urine collection and analysis device;

FIG. 8 is a cross section transverse to the view of FIG.

FIG. 9 is a transverse cross section through a urine collection and analysis device particularly suited for obtaining a midstream sample; and

FIG. 10 illustrates a float and receiving vessel for the device of FIG. 9.

DESCRIPTION In the illustration of a presently preferred embodiment shown in perspective in FIG. 1 a portion has been cut away to show some of the interior. This laboratory device for urine collection and analysis comprises a plastic housing 10 on top of which a shallow pan II is placed. The pan I] is formed of thin plastic or water resistant treated paper and is sufficiently flexible that it can be safely flushed down a toilet if desired. Flexible tubes 12 lead from the bottom portion of the pan into the interior of the housing 10.

The housing has a generally U-shape in transverse cross section as is also seen in FIG. 2. The device has two depending side portions 13 and 14 interconnected by an overflow reservoir 16. One of the side portions 13 is also illustrated in FIG. 4 as if it were a separate article; that is the reservoir portion 16 and other side portion 14 have been removed for purposes of illustration. The top portion of the housing 10 is partly closed by horizontally extending sheets 17 extending part way inwardly from each edge to leave a longitudinal slot 18 across the top of the device. A T-shaped float 19 of very lightweight material, such as polystyrene foam fits in the central overflow reservoir with the upstanding leg 21 of the float l9 fitting through the slot 18 in the top of the device. Since the float fits rather closely within the reservoir, holes 22 are provided through the crossbar of the T so that urine can flow therethrough. The pan II is on top of the leg 21 of the float and is preferably lightly secured thereto by an adhesive to keep it from being accidently dislodged, but still removable when desired.

The interior of side portion 13 is open along its length below the top sheet 17 so that urine can flow to any portion. An overflow weir or slot 23 communicates between the side portion 13 and the central reservoir 16. When the pan II is in place one of the tubes 12 extends over the weir 23 and into the side portion so that urine flows directly thereto from the pan.

The side portion 13 of the housing is subdivided into a plurality of funnel-shaped upper compartments 24. It will be noted in FIG. 4 that the volumes of the several compartments may be different so that the volume of fluid contained in each differs. The tops of the several compartments 24 are below the height of the weir 23 so that when urine flows into the side portion 13 it flows into the several upper compartments 24 until all are filled before it overflows the weir into the central reservoir.

The side portion 13 also has a plurality of lower compartments 26 in one to one correlation with the upper compartments 24. A removable slide 27 temporarily seals the lower compartments from the respective upper compartments. Each of the lower compartments 26 contains a suitable reagent (not shown) preferably in dry form for performing a urine analysis, such as for example, for the presence of blood in the urine, pH, ketone content, density, or the like.

One of the lower compartments 26 contains a plurality of small plastic spheres 30 having different densities or specific gravities. All the spheres of one density have a selected color, thus for example a few spheres having a specific gravity of 1.010 may be red in color and all those having a density of 1.015 may be orange. A range of sphere densities are included corresponding to the normal range of urine density (i.e., from about 1.001 to 1.035). A significant clinical factor in urine analysis can be the specific gravity which should be in excess of about 1.015 in the usual fasting specimen. The techician can readily note the density of the urine by observing which of the plastic spheres float and which sink.

Sugar determination is another important analysis and a number of powders, tablets and tapes are available for this test. Urine pH may be determined with ordinary litmus paper or a variety of proprietary pH indicators. Similarly protein content, ketone content, blood or other constituents of the urine can be readily checked in the lower compartments by including suitable reagents which are commercially available.

When the device is used urine collects in the upper compartments 24 in a predetermined volume. When the laboratory technician is ready to perform an analysis, the slide 27 is removed as illustrated in FIG. 3, which permits the urine in the upper compartments 24 to flow down into the lower compartments 26 where the analysis reagents are stored. The differing volumes of the upper compartments 24 provides a suitable volume for the analysis performed in the respective lower compartment.

At least the lower portion of the side 13 is transparent so that the color effects occurring upon urine analysis can be observed by the technician. If desired one wall of the side portion can be provided with a suitable white background or color chart so that the color comparison for analysis is readily made. It will be noted that the analysis is performed in the vessel in which the urine is originally collected, thereby obviating any need to transfer the urine in the laboratory. A substantial number of routine tests can be performed quickly and easily with high reliability with such a device.

The other side portion 14 of the laboratory device has a removable inner housing or cassette 28 which can be withdrawn after urine is collected as illustrated in FIG. 3. This inner housing 28 also has a plurality of compartments which are in fluid communication with each other at their upper portion. In the first compartment adjacent an overflow weir 34 there is a removable sedimentation tube 29 further described hereinafter. The second compartment in the inner housing 28 has an upper portion 31 and a lower portion 32 separated by a rigid membrane 33. A capillary siphon 35 extends between the upper compartment 31 and lower compartment 32 for transferring a small amount of urine therebetween. The lower compartment 32 is partly filled with sterile nutrient broth for growing microorganisms and the capillary siphon transfers a proper quantity of urine from the upper compartment to the lower compartment to till the space over the nutrient broth and innoculate the broth for microorganisms growth. Use of a capillary siphon prevents spillage of the broth before the device is used.

The balance of the compartments in the side portion 14 have a shallow trough over their top with a height above that of the weir 34 leading from the first compartment into the central reservoir. A permeable wick 36 lies in the trough and has an end in the upper compartment 31. Permeable threads 37 from the wick extend down into the additional compartments 38 of the side portion. Each of these compartments 38 has a solid nutrient medium 39 such as a conventional agar slant for growth of microorganisms. On such a solid nutrient substrate the small quantity of urine is required for innoculation, is delivered by the threads 37 of the wick 36.

Thus when the device is used urine flows into the side portion 14, filling the sedimentation tube 29 and upper compartment 31 before overflowing the weir 34 into the central reservoir 16. A small portion of the urine is transferred to the agar slants 39 in the several compartments 38 by the wick 36 and a limited quantity is transferred to the lower compartment 32 by way of the capillary siphon 35. When the side portion 14 is thus filled, the inner housing 28 is removed for use in the laboratory. The sedimentation tube 29 is removed and the balance of the inner housing is placed in an incubation oven at 37C for optimum growth of microorganisms. By using several nutrient media in the agar slants selectivity of growth of microorganisms can be obtained so that several cultures can be made simultaneously. It will be noted that the nutrient media is automatically innoculated in the collection device and the only handling by the technician is to remove the sedimentation tube 29 and place the inner housing 28 in the incubation oven.

The laboratory device serves for collection of urine as well as analysis. Urine is received in the pan l1 and flows through the tubes 12 into the side portions l3 and 14 of the housing. When these respective side portions fill, excess urine overflows the weirs 23 and 34 into the central overflow reservoir 16. This causes the float 19 to rise, gradually lifting the pan and withdrawing the tubes 12 from the filled side portions and permitting flow directly into the reservoir until it is filled.

At this time the pan is simply pulled off and discarded. The float rises against the upper sheets 17 thereby closing off the holes 22 through the float. The sides of the float also close off the weirs 23 and 34. A pair of slides 41 are mounted in dovetail slots in the top portion of the device so that when the float has reached its upper extent, the slides can be pinched together to penetrate the sides of the polystyrene foam float and lock it in its uppermost position thereby inhibiting spillage of urine from the reservoir as the device is taken to the laboratory.

In the laboratory. the technician removes the slide 27 from the side portion l3 and observes color changes in the lower compartments 26 for almost instant analysis of the urine. The inner housing 28 is removed from the other side portion 14 and the sedimentation tube lifted out. Thereupon the balance of the inner housing is placed in the incubation oven for conventional growth of microorganisms. Since no transfer of urine from the collection device is required in the laboratory, the analyses can be performed very promptly and economically. It will also be noted that innoculation of the nutrient media occurs while the urine is still fresh, significantly reducing mortality of microorganisms. Further, the steps needed in the laboratory are minimal and the cultures are usually transferred to the incubation chamber much more promptly than with prior laboratory techniques. The excess quantity of urine in the reservoir I6 is ordinarily simply discarded with the device after analyses have been performed. It is available however in case specialized tests are required. A small amount of preservative for the urine may be provided in the reservoir when the unit is built.

The removable sedimentation tube 29 is a rigid member of conventional size and external shape for fitting in a conventional centrifuge. One side of the tube 29 has a reentrant groove 42 extending most of the way down the outside of the tube. An internal tube 43 dips into the very bottom portion of the sedimentation tube 29 and communicates with a flexible tube 44 on the outside of the sedimentation tube. Duuring urine collection and centrifuging the flexible tube 44 reposes in the elongated reentrant groove 42 in the side of the sedimentation tube. Upon centrifuging, heavy portions of the urine collect in the bottom of the sedimentation tube and it is these portions that are of interest for microscopic examination, the balance of the urine in the upper portions of the sedimentation tube are of no additional interest.

After centrifuging the sediment in the bottom is transferred to a microscope slide such as special slide 46 illustrated in FIG. 5. The flexible tube 44 is removed from the groove 42 and bent down so that a small amount of the liquid in the sedimentation tube, including the heavy portions at the bottom, are siphoned out to be examined microscopically.

Typically in the past the fluid to be examined has been spread manually across a rectangle of glass or transparent plastic using another microscope slide as a spreader. A dye may be applied for staining portions of the fluid to be examined and an adhesive such as balsam oil is added. This is then covered by a cover slip before microscopic examination. In the special slide 46 illustrated in FIG. 5, dyeing and uniform spreading is automatically achieved. A fluid, such as the urine col lected in the above described device, is placed in a compartment 47 at one end of the transparent slide 46. A porous material such as blotting paper containing a soluble dye resides in the bottom portion of the compartment 47. The fluid extracts a portion of the dye from the porous material 48 upon contact therewith. Preservatives or other reagents that may react with the fluid may be contained in the porous body. The fluid then flows into a narrow slit or capillary passage 49 extending along the slide by normal capillary action and no additional handling is required before microscopic examination.

It will be noted that the layer of the fluid is thus made uniformly thin and is self staining, both of which contribute to minimal handling and risk of contamination of the fluid being examined. If desired, such a slide can be used by merely dipping the free end into a fluid so that the flat passage is wetted, and the fluid is drawn in by capillary action.

Preferably the entire collection device and microscope slide as hereinabove described are packaged together with a common serial number on all portions. In this way identification of the serial number with a patient permits the several parts to be separated in the course of laboratory examination without loss of correlation with the patient. This saves the additional step of applying identification labels to the various samples as they go separate routes through a laboratory.

The above described device is relatively bulky and the packaging can be minimized by making it partially collapsible. This can be effected by making the end and bottom walls of the central overflow reservoir collapsible so that when pressure is exerted on them the two side portions 13 and 14 can be pressed together. The walls of the overflow reservoir should, however. be stiff enough that collapsing will not occur during an ordinary laboratory handling. Such can be achieved. for example, by making the walls and floor of the overflow reservoir with accordian-like pleats which may be collapsed under force but spring back to an open position when removed from a surrounding sterile wrapping.

The float in the reservoir must also be made collapsible in the same direction if the device is to be packaged in a partially collapsed condition. FIG. 6 illustrates, in cut-away perspective, a suitable float for a collapsible embodiment. As previously mentioned. the float has a generally T-shaped cross-section with an up standing leg SI and a cross-bar 52 that, during use, is in a generally horizontal position. The float illustrated in FIG. 6 is formed as a hollow body of water impermeable resilient plastic that is collapsible but springs back to the configuration illustrated in FIG. 6 when collapsing forces are removed. Exhaust vents 53 at the top permit air to escape when it is collapsed and re-enter when the float springs back to its expanded condition. The air vents 53 are preferably near the edges so that they are not obstructed when the urine collection pan is placed on top. Preferably in this embodiment, the collection pan is provided with an adhesive on its bottom for sticking to the top of the float after expanding.

The edges of the cross bar 52 of the T are provided with scallops, flutes, or grooves 54 which permit flow of urine past the cross bar of the float in the same man net as the holes 22 in the previously described embodiment. If desired, the collapsible T-shaped float can be closed at the top and open across part or all of the bottom. The trapped bubble" of air in the expanded float serves to give it buoyancy.

FIGS. 7 and 8 illustrate in side view and vertical cross-section, respectively, another embodiment of urine collection and analysis device constructed according to principles of this invention. Such a device is particularly useful where a patient or attendant for the patient routinely runs screening analyses on urine without visiting a physician or laboratory. Such a device may be used right in a diabetic patients home, for example.

The collection device is in the form of a rectangular vessel forming a collection compartment 56 in which urine is collected, preferably directly from the patient. A float 57 is in the main compartment and is preferably made of an inexpensive foamed plastic or the like or may be a collapsible float of the same general type as hereinabove described and illustrated in FIG. 6. A plurality of scallops or flutes 58 are provided around the periphery of the float so that urine can flow around it into the compartment beneath the float. When the compartment is filled or nearly filled, the float is adjacent the top of the compartment and top end walls 59 block off the scallops around the edge of the float so that urine will not readily spill. The float can be latched in this uppermost position by inserting a tapered pin 61 through a transverse hole 62 through the crown portion 63 of the float. Preferably, the pin 61 is connected to the balance of the device by a flexible strap 64 which prevents it from becoming misplaced.

A separate sample compartment 66 is formed on one wall of the main compartment 56. A urine analysis test strip 67 is packaged in the second compartment. Such analysis test strips having a plurality of test regions 68 along the length are commercially available from the Ames Company, a division of Miles Laboratories, Elkhart, lndiana. The test strip is paper impregnated with reagents in a manner somewhat analagous to litmus paper. Each separate region 68 of the test strip is impregnated with a reagent sensitive to a different condition of the urine to be tested and observation of a number of different conditions can be obtained quite rapidly. A plurality of such side compartments can be formed on the side of the main compartment with each side compartment provided with a different reagent for performing routine urine analyses, if desired.

When one is ready to start the analysis, the upper portion of the side sample compartment 66 is squeezed, pressing a pair of tapered spikes or tips 69 through a deliberately weakened portion 71 of the wall into the collection compartment 56. The walls of the sample compartment are sufficiently flexible to permit such deflection and spring back to the position illustrated when released. The spikes 69 leave holes as the wall springs back and urine from the collection compartment runs into the sample compartment for contact with the test strip 67.

Such a device, as illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8, preserves the principles of minimum chance for spillage or contamination but is a simpler, more compact, and less expensive unit than hereinabove described and illustrated. Such a device is particularly desirable for use in a physicians office where only the simplest screening tests are performed and the testing tapes have sufficient sensitivity. It is also helpful for diabetic patients or the like to routinely check their own urine at home. ln this situation, the patient may depend on another member of the household to carry out the test and a substantial time may elapse between the time of collecting the sample and the urinalysis. The urine simply remains in the collection compartment until the side wall is ruptured by the spikes. It is important to maintain the test strip away from the urine until analysis is desired since the color changes that occur in the test strip are noted within a minute or less after first contact with the urine.

FIG. 9 illustrates in vertical cross-section another embodiment of urine collection and analysis device particularly suitable for obtaining a midstream sample. in this device, the first portion of the urine stream which may contain contaminating microorganisms from the urethra is diverted into one compartment and the following portion of the stream is collected the sample to be analyzed.

The midstream sampling device has a rectangular plastic container 73 opened at its upper end and a special float is mounted within the container. The float has a buoyant porous plastic base 74 which, as better seen in the perspective view of the float in Flg. 10, has flutes or scallops 76 on its sides for letting urine pass. An open top receiving vessel or receptacle is mounted on the buoyant base 74 in a manner such that one face 78 of the combined receptacle and float is flat. The receiving vessel is set back from the other three faces of the float to form an upwardly facing shoulder 79 around three sides. Openings 81 are provided in three faces of the vessel above the shoulder 79. A fourth opening 82 is provided through the wall of the vessel at its lower end on the flat face 78. A flared lip 83 is provided at the upper open end of the vessel. If desired, the float may be a chamber with closed top and open bottom to obtain buoyancy from a trapped bubble of air.

The collection container has an internally enlarged portion 84 near its upper portion on three sides, forming a downwardly facing shoulder 86 opposed to the upwardly facing shoulder 79 on the float. The fourth side of the collection compartment opposite the flat face 78 of the combined vessel and float is also flat so that there is a relatively close fit therebetween. A passage 87 is provided through the wall of the compartment 73 on this face so that urine may flow from the collection container into a sample compartment 88 on one side thereof. The sample compartment 88 is indicated in FIG. 9 only as an open receptacle, however, it will be understood that this may be a microorganism module similar to the removable cassette-like module 28 hereinabove described and illustrated. If desired, the sample chamber 88 can simply be detached for recovering the urine therein for analysis. A cutter 89 is mounted on the collection vessel 73 in a dovetail groove (not shown) for severing the sample container 88 and prying it away from the collection compartment. The urine therein can then be handled in the usual manner.

To use the sample collection device illustrated in FIG. 9, the patient urinates into the open upper end of the receiving vessel 77 and the urine passes through the apertures 81 and over the flutes 76 to collect in the region of the collection compartment beneath the float 74. Since the opening 82 is in close proximity to the wall of the container 73, only a small amount of urine flows therethrough. Urine from a first part of the stream therefore collects beneath the float and causes it to buoyed upwardly. This continues until the shoulder 79 on the float engages the shoulder 86 within the collection chamber. At this point, the apertures 81 are rather close to and occulted by the enlarged portion 84 within the container and little, if any, urine flows therethrough. The opening 82 on the flat face 78 of the float has now been elevated to a point opposite the passage 87 into the sample compartment 88 and most of the urine, which is free of any contamination of the first portion of the stream, flows into the sample chamber. Any excess of urine simply collects in the receiving vessel at an elevation above the opening 87.

After the sample has thus been obtained, the cutter 89 can be brought down, severing the sample chamber from the balance of the container. The cutter not only removes the sample chamber but also closes off the passage 87 thereby minimizing spillage of urine during sample removal. The collection container is then discarded and the urine in the sample chamber 88 is transferred to an incubation oven for microorganism analysis either by a subsequent transfer or by incubation directly in the sample chamber.

Although limited embodiments of urine collection and analysis device have been described and illustrated herein many modifications and variations will be apparent to one skilled in the art. Thus, for example, instead of collecting urine directly from a patient in such devices, some embodiments may be used in the laboratory by decanting a specimen previously collected. This enables filling of several compartments substantially simultaneously so that numerous analyses and cultures can be commenced in a single operation rather than several distinct steps. Many other modifications and variations will be apparent to one skilled in the art and it is therefore to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced otherwise than as specifically described.

What is claimed is:

l. A laboratory device for urinalysis comprising:

a housing having an open top;

a plurality of sample compartments in the housing;

means for directing urine through the open top into the sample compartments;

an overflow reservoir;

weir means for overflowing urine from the sample compartments to the reservoir;

a float in the reservoir; and

means on the float for engaging the housing closing the open top of the device and the weir means when the reservoir fills.

2. A laboratory device as defined in claim 1 wherein a top portion of the float extends through a slot in the open top of the device; and

the means for directing comprises a pan on the top of the float and a flexible tube extending from the pan into one of the sample compartments.

3. A laboratory device as defined in claim 2 wherein the housing has a generaly U-shape with the overflow reservoir forming the bight of the U, and wherein the sample compartments are in rows in the legs of the U.

4. A laboratory device for urinalysis comprising:

a housing having an upper portion and a lower portion;

a plurality of open top compartments in the upper portion, each compartment having a predetermined volume, the upper portions of the compartments being in mutual fluid communication;

means for receiving urine in the upper portion for flow into said compartments;

an overflow reservoir for receiving urine in excess of the amount needed to fill said compartments;

overflow means between the upper portion and the reservoir;

a plurality of compartments in the lower portion of the housing in one to one correlation with the compartments in the upper portion; and

means for temporarily sealing the upper compartments from the respective lower compartments and for permitting urine to flow therebetween when desired.

5. A laboratory device as defined in claim 4 further comprising a urinalysis reagent in each of the lower compartments.

6. A laboratory device as defined in claim 5 wherein the means for sealing comprises a removable slide between the upper and lower compartments.

7. A laboratory device for body fluid analysis comprising:

a housing;

means for collecting a body fluid sample and directing it into the housing;

means in the housing for receiving the sample from the means for collecting, subdividing the body fluid sample, and filling a plurality of sub-sample compartments each having a predetermined volume;

a reservoir for containing body fluid in excess of the total volume of the sub-samples;

an analysis reagent in the compartments for at least a portion of the sub samples; and

means for contacting selected sub-samples and their respective analysis reagents at a desired time after collection.

8. A laboratory device as defined in claim 7 further comprising:

overflow means between the several compartments and between the compartments and the reservoir for directing fluid in excess of the amount needed to fill the compartments to the reservoir.

9. A collection and analysis device for body liquid analysis comprising:

an open collection compartment for collecting a body liquid sample from a patient;

a closed sample compartment attached to the collection compartment and not in liquid communication therewith;

means for opening liquid communication between the collection compartment and the sample compartment for transferring liquid therebetween at a selected moment after sample collection comprising a resiliently flexible wall on the sample compartment and means for rupturing the wall comprising a sharp tip on the flexible wall for perforating the wall between the compartments upon flexing of the flexible wall; and

a body liquid analysis reagent in the sample compartment.

10. A urine collection device for recovering a midstream sample comprising:

a collection compartment;

a receiving vessel fitted into the collection compartment;

a sample compartment adjacent the collection compartment and having a liquid flow passage therebetween;

means for passing a urine stream from the receiving vessel to the collection compartment comprising a first aperture at the lower portion of the receiving vessel;

a second aperture in the lower portion of the receiving vessel; and

means in the collection compartment for inhibiting urine flow from the receiving vessel to the collection compartment and for diverting urine flow from the receiving vessel to the sample compartment in response to liquid level in the collection compartment comprising a float on the bottom of the receiving vessel for floating the receiving vessel on urine in the collection compartment and aligning the second aperture with the passage.

11. A midstream sampling device as defined in claim 10 further comprising stop means in the collection compartment for limiting the extent of rise of the float. and wherein the means for inhibiting and diverting further comprises a wall portion adjacent the stop means for occulting the first aperture.

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U.S. Classification422/430, 73/863.52, 600/575
International ClassificationG01N37/00, B01L9/00, A61B10/00, B01L3/00
Cooperative ClassificationB01L3/5085, A61B10/007, B01L3/502, B01L2300/0864, B01L2200/04
European ClassificationB01L3/502, B01L3/5085, A61B10/00L8