US3883305A - Automatic chemical analysis apparatus - Google Patents

Automatic chemical analysis apparatus Download PDF

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Publication number
US3883305A
US3883305A US34106973A US3883305A US 3883305 A US3883305 A US 3883305A US 34106973 A US34106973 A US 34106973A US 3883305 A US3883305 A US 3883305A
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United States
Prior art keywords
sample
apparatus according
station
reaction tubes
conveyor
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Expired - Lifetime
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Douglas Haig Hoskins
Thomas Horne
Graham Roger Jarman
Arthur William Dunsmore
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Coulter Electronics Inc
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Coulter Electronics Inc
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    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01NINVESTIGATING OR ANALYSING MATERIALS BY DETERMINING THEIR CHEMICAL OR PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
    • G01N35/00Automatic analysis not limited to methods or materials provided for in any single one of groups G01N1/00 - G01N33/00; Handling materials therefor
    • G01N35/02Automatic analysis not limited to methods or materials provided for in any single one of groups G01N1/00 - G01N33/00; Handling materials therefor using a plurality of sample containers moved by a conveyor system past one or more treatment or analysis stations
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01NINVESTIGATING OR ANALYSING MATERIALS BY DETERMINING THEIR CHEMICAL OR PHYSICAL PROPERTIES
    • G01N35/00Automatic analysis not limited to methods or materials provided for in any single one of groups G01N1/00 - G01N33/00; Handling materials therefor
    • G01N35/02Automatic analysis not limited to methods or materials provided for in any single one of groups G01N1/00 - G01N33/00; Handling materials therefor using a plurality of sample containers moved by a conveyor system past one or more treatment or analysis stations
    • G01N35/021Automatic analysis not limited to methods or materials provided for in any single one of groups G01N1/00 - G01N33/00; Handling materials therefor using a plurality of sample containers moved by a conveyor system past one or more treatment or analysis stations having a flexible chain, e.g. "cartridge belt", conveyor for reaction cells or cuvettes

Abstract

An automatic chemical analysis apparatus having separate closedlooped conveyors for sample and reactant containers. At a fixed location, sample portions from a given sample are transferred to a serial sequence of reactant containers. Colourimetric testing is arranged such that all of the reactant products of the given sample are tested simultaneously. Sample and reactant products identification are obtained at the time the reactant containers are at the colourimeter station, at which time the sample container is at a variably positioned identification station, the position being dictated by the number of sample portions being tested for that given sample.

Description

United States Patent 1191 Hoskins et al.

[ AUTOMATIC CHEMICAL ANALYSIS APPARATUS [75] Inventors: Douglas Haig lloskins, St. Albans;

Thomas Horne, Wobum Bletchley; Graham Roger Jarman; Arthur William Dunsmore, both of Dunstable, all of England [73] Assignee: Coulter Electronics, lnc., Hialeah,

Fla.

22 Filed: Mar. 14,1973

21 Appl. No.: 341,069

1 1 May 13, 1975 Primary Examiner-R. E. Serwin Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Si|verman & Cass, Ltd.

[57] ABSTRACT An automatic chemical analysis apparatus having separate closed-looped conveyors for sample and reactant containers. At a fixed location, sample portions from a given sample are transferred to a serial sequence of reactant containers. Colourimetric testing is arranged such that all of the reactant products of the given sample are tested simultaneously. Sample and reactant products identification are obtained at the time the reactant containers are at the colourimeter station, at which time the sample container is at a variably positioned identification station, the position being dictated by the number of sample portions being tested for that given sample.

27 Claims, 34 Drawing Figures PATENIEU um 1 3mm SHEET IBUF 20 SHEET IBM 20 Snu Ru @o H Q mp wwm

Claims (27)

1. AN APPARATUS FOR AUTOMATIC CHEMICAL ANALYSIS COMPRISING: A FIRST SEQUENTIALLY ADVANCEABLE CONVEYOR FOR CARRYING CONTAINERS HOLDING SAMPLES TO BE TESTED; A SECOND SEQUENTIALLY ADVANCEABLE CONVEYOR FOR CARRYING REACTION TUBES IN WHICH CHEMICAL REACTIONS CAN BE CAUSED TO OCCUR; SAID CONVEYORS DEFINING PATHS WHICH LIE ONE WITHIN THE OTHER; FIRST AND SECOND TRANSFER STATIONS FIXEDLY POSITIONED ALONG YHE PATH OF SAID FIRST AND SECOND CONVEYORS, RESPECRIVELY; TRANSFER STRUCTURE POSITIONED ADJACENT SAID FIRST AND SECOND STATIONS FOR SEQUENTIALLY TRANSFERRING SAMPLE PORTIONS FROM EACH CONTAINER, WHEN IT IS AT SAID FIRST STATION, TO A PREDETERMINED PLURALITY OF THE REACTION TUBES AS THEY ARE MOVED PAST SAID SECOND STATION; APPARATUS CAPABLE OF ADDING DIFFERENT REAGENTS TO EACH OF SAID PLUTALITY OF REACTION TUBES; A PROGRAMMED DRIVE ARRANGEMENT FOR ADVANCING SAID FIRST CONVEYOR TO PRESENT A NEXT SAMPLE CONTAINER
2. Apparatus according to claim 1 in which at least one of said conveyors and preferably each said conveyor operates in a horizontally closed loop for carrying its respective containers and tubes in a closed loop.
3. Apparatus according to claim 2 in which said testing equipment includes a testing station which sequentially receives all of said plurality of reaction tubes as a group for substantially simultaneous individual testing of the contents thereof.
4. Apparatus according to claim 1 in which said transfer structure includes a pipette which comprises a pair of electrically conductive members, one of said pair being a tube through which sample can be drawn from said containers, said members being electrically insulated from each other and mechanically linked to one another so as to be moved as a unit relative to the level of the sample within a sample container and be placed in physical and electrical contact with the sample, said tube member having a lower end which extends a determinable distance beyond that of said other member into the sample, and an electrical conductor connected to each said member; whereby, when said pipette is immersed into the sample said determinable distance, a responsive electric signal can be derived from said conductors.
5. Apparatus according to claim 4 which further comprises an identification station for correlation of sample and reaction product identification, such that the test results of each reaction product is identified with respect to its originating sample, said identification station being moveably positionable along the path of and adjacent said first conveyor subsequent to said first transfer station, the position of said identification station being predetermined by the number of reaction tubes in said plurality of reaction tubes for a specific sample, whereby a sample container will have reached said identification station at the same time that all of its associated plurality of reaction tubes will have reached said testing equipment, for simultaneous identification purposes.
6. Apparatus according to claim 1 which further comprises an identification station for correlation of sample and reaction product identification, Such that the test results of each reaction product is identified with respect to its originating sample, said identification station being moveably positionable along the path of and adjacent said first conveyor subsequent to said first transfer station, the position of said identification station being predetermined by the number of reaction tubes in said plurality of reaction tubes for a specific sample, whereby a sample container will have reached said identification station at the same time that all of its associated plurality of reaction tubes will have reached said testing equipment, for simultaneous identification purposes.
7. Apparatus according to claim 6 in which said testing equipment is positioned adjacent said second conveyor and is relatively moveable along the path thereof, the positioning of said testing equipment being predetermined and based upon the number of reaction tubes in said plurality of reaction tubes for each specific sample.
8. Apparatus according to claim 1 in which said testing equipment includes a testing station which sequentially receives all of said plurality of reaction tubes as a group for substantially simultaneous individual testing of the contents thereof.
9. Apparatus according to claim 1 which further comprises an identification station for correlation of sample and reaction product identification, such that the test results of each reaction product is identified with respect to its originating sample, said identification station being moveably positionable along the path of and adjacent said first conveyor subsequent to said first transfer station, the position of said identification station being predetermined by the number of reaction tubes in said plurality of reaction tubes for a specific sample, whereby a sample container will have reached said identification station at the same time that all of its associated plurality of reaction tubes will have reached said testing equipment, for simultaneous identification purposes.
10. Apparatus according to claim 1 in which said testing equipment includes colourimetric testing devices arranged parallel said second conveyor for each of said predetermined plurality of reaction tubes.
11. Apparatus according to claim 10 in which said testing equipment includes a light source and structure for directing the illumination energy of said light source toward the reaction products being tested, whilst directing the heat energy from said light source away from said reaction products.
12. Apparatus according to claim 11 in which said energy directing structure comprises a dichroic reflector.
13. Apparatus according to claim 12 in which said dichroic reflector is constructed to transmit energy wavelengths exceeding 1000 nm away from the material to be tested.
14. Apparatus according to claim 1 which further comprises a third sequentially advanceable conveyor for carrying reaction tubes; third and fourth transfer stations fixedly positioned along the path of said first and third conveyors, respectively; a second transfer structure constructed and arranged for transferring at least one sample portion from a container at said third station to at least one reaction tube at said fourth station for subsequent receipt of reagents and testing; and said programmed drive arrangement coordinating the sequential advancing of said third conveyor relative to the advancing of said first conveyor.
15. Apparatus according to claim 14 in which temperature control structure is provided to establish a temperature difference between the contents in the reactant tubes on said second conveyor with respect to the contents in the reactant tubes on said third conveyor.
16. Apparatus according to claim 15 in which at least one of said conveyors and preferably each said conveyor operates in a horizontally closed loop for carrying its respective containers and tubes in a closed loop.
17. Apparatus according to claim 1 in which said transfer structure includes a pipette and translatIon structure for moving said pipette both horizontally between said fixed transfer stations and vertically with respect to said containers and tubes at said transfer stations.
18. Apparatus according to claim 17 in which said pipette comprises a pair of electrically conductive members, one of said pair being a tube through which sample can be drawn from said containers, said members being electrically insulated from each other and mechanically linked to one another so as to be moved as a unit relative to the level of the sample within a sample container and be placed in physical and electrical contact with the sample, said tube member having a lower end which extends a determinable distance beyond that of said other member into the sample, and an electrical conductor connected to each said member; whereby, when said pipette is immersed into the sample said determinable distance, a responsive electric signal can be derived from said conductors.
19. Apparatus according to claim 18 in which said conductive members are adjustably linked to one another for varying said determinable distance.
20. Apparatus according to claim 18 in which said other member also is a tube and surrounds said sample drawing tube for most of its length, except for said determinable distance.
21. Apparatus according to claim 1 in which said testing equipment includes a testing station which sequentially receives all of said plurality of reaction tubes as a group for substantially simultaneous individual testing of the contents thereof.
22. Apparatus according to claim 21 which further comprises an identification station for correlation of sample and reaction product identification, such that the test results of each reaction product is identified with respect to its originating sample, said identification station being moveably positionable along the path of and adjacent said first conveyor subsequent to said first transfer station, the position of said identification station being predetermined by the number of reaction tubes in said plurality of reaction tubes for a specific sample, whereby a sample container will have reached said identification station at the same time that all of its associated plurality of reaction tubes will have reached said testing equipment, for simultaneous identification purposes.
23. Apparatus according to claim 21 in which said testing equipment includes a plurality of cuvettes in fixed position, equal in number of the maximum number in said predetermined plurality of reaction tubes, and reaction product transfer structure coupled to said cuvettes for effecting transfer to and from said cuvettes of the reaction products of a said plurality of reaction tubes, substantially simultaneously.
24. Apparatus according to claim 23 in which said testing equipment is positioned adjacent said second conveyor and is relatively moveable along the path thereof, the positioning of said testing equipment being predetermined and based upon the number of reaction tubes in said plurality of reaction tubes for each specific sample.
25. For use in an automatic chemical analysis apparatus, a pipette apparatus which comprises a pair of electrically conductive members, one of said pair being a tube through which sample can be drawn from containers, said members being electrically insulated from each other and mechanically linked to one another so as to be moved as a unit relative to the level of the sample within a sample container and be placed in physical and electrical contact with the sample, said tube member having a lower end which extends a determinable distance beyond that of said other member into the sample, and an electrical conductor connected to each said member; whereby, when said pipette is immersed into the sample said determinable distance, a responsive electric signal can be derived from said conductors.
26. Apparatus according to claim 25 in which said conductive members are adjustably linked to one another for varying said determinable distancE.
27. Apparatus according to claim 26 in which said other member also is a tube and surrounds said sample drawing tube for most of its length, except for said determinable distance.
US34106973 1972-03-21 1973-03-14 Automatic chemical analysis apparatus Expired - Lifetime US3883305A (en)

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GB1324172A GB1417852A (en) 1972-03-21 1972-03-21 Automatic chemical analysis apparatus

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JP (1) JPS5620502B2 (en)
AR (1) AR197030A1 (en)
BE (1) BE797006A (en)
BR (1) BR7301930D0 (en)
CA (1) CA1027836A (en)
CH (1) CH563020A5 (en)
DE (1) DE2313617A1 (en)
ES (1) ES412858A1 (en)
FR (1) FR2176869B1 (en)
GB (1) GB1417852A (en)
IL (1) IL41813A (en)
IT (1) IT979893B (en)
NL (1) NL7303762A (en)
SE (1) SE393459B (en)
ZA (1) ZA7301884B (en)

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US3980433A (en) * 1973-10-17 1976-09-14 Zenzo Tamura Method for determining carboxylic acid and system for carrying out the method
US3985508A (en) * 1975-10-28 1976-10-12 Melvin Williams Automated chemical analyzer
US4039287A (en) * 1976-03-17 1977-08-02 Hycel, Inc. Reaction conveyor assembly in an automatic chemical testing apparatus
US4039286A (en) * 1976-07-16 1977-08-02 W. C. Heraeus Gmbh Automatic chemical analysis apparatus
US4040788A (en) * 1976-04-05 1977-08-09 Sanford L. Simons Apparatus, instrumentation, and method for comparing samples
US4052161A (en) * 1974-08-22 1977-10-04 The Perkin-Elmer Corporation Kinetic analyzer
US4088446A (en) * 1976-05-25 1978-05-09 Bodenseewerk Perkin-Elmer & Co., Gmbh Method and apparatus for cleansing residue from a sample transfer probe
US4090848A (en) * 1975-03-20 1978-05-23 Nihon Denshi Kabushiki Kaisha Automatic analyzing apparatus
US4155978A (en) * 1977-04-27 1979-05-22 Nihon Denshi Kabushiki Kaisha Automatic chemical analyzer
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WO1985001797A1 (en) * 1983-10-13 1985-04-25 Coulter Electronics, Inc. Method and apparatus for transporting carriers of sealed sample tubes and mixing the sample
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US4652137A (en) * 1983-04-13 1987-03-24 Allied Corporation Centrifugal analyzer
US4664885A (en) * 1981-07-13 1987-05-12 Tokyo Shibaura Denki Kabushiki Kaisha Automatic chemical analyzer
US4796197A (en) * 1982-02-09 1989-01-03 Rhone-Poulenc S.A. Automated apparatus for carrying out biological, biochemical or physicochemical determinations
US4844868A (en) * 1985-06-18 1989-07-04 Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba Automatic chemical analysis reagent distribution and analysis apparatus
US4859605A (en) * 1986-12-16 1989-08-22 Ciba-Geigy Corporation Process for preparation of samples for analysis
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Cited By (136)

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Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
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US4052161A (en) * 1974-08-22 1977-10-04 The Perkin-Elmer Corporation Kinetic analyzer
US4090848A (en) * 1975-03-20 1978-05-23 Nihon Denshi Kabushiki Kaisha Automatic analyzing apparatus
US3985508A (en) * 1975-10-28 1976-10-12 Melvin Williams Automated chemical analyzer
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US4040788A (en) * 1976-04-05 1977-08-09 Sanford L. Simons Apparatus, instrumentation, and method for comparing samples
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US4039286A (en) * 1976-07-16 1977-08-02 W. C. Heraeus Gmbh Automatic chemical analysis apparatus
US4168955A (en) * 1977-03-28 1979-09-25 Instrumentation Specialties Company Chemical analyzer
US4169125A (en) * 1977-04-14 1979-09-25 Baxter Travenol Laboratories, Inc. Modular chemical analysis system
US4155978A (en) * 1977-04-27 1979-05-22 Nihon Denshi Kabushiki Kaisha Automatic chemical analyzer
US4265855A (en) * 1978-11-03 1981-05-05 Electro-Nucleonics, Inc. System for performing immunochemical and other analyses involving phase separation
US4259289A (en) * 1979-10-22 1981-03-31 Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. Apparatus for retrieving liquid samples from test tubes
EP0041378A1 (en) * 1980-05-30 1981-12-09 Hitachi, Ltd. Automatic analytical instrument
EP0052006A1 (en) * 1980-11-10 1982-05-19 Hitachi, Ltd. Automatic chemical analyzer
US4664885A (en) * 1981-07-13 1987-05-12 Tokyo Shibaura Denki Kabushiki Kaisha Automatic chemical analyzer
US4528159A (en) * 1981-07-20 1985-07-09 American Hospital Supply Corp. Automated analysis instrument system
US4861554A (en) * 1981-12-14 1989-08-29 Olympus Optical Co., Ltd. Automatic analyzing apparatus for analyzing agglutination patterns
US4796197A (en) * 1982-02-09 1989-01-03 Rhone-Poulenc S.A. Automated apparatus for carrying out biological, biochemical or physicochemical determinations
EP0088440A3 (en) * 1982-03-10 1984-09-12 Hitachi, Ltd. Method and apparatus for clinical analysis
EP0088440A2 (en) * 1982-03-10 1983-09-14 Hitachi, Ltd. Method and apparatus for clinical analysis
US4652137A (en) * 1983-04-13 1987-03-24 Allied Corporation Centrifugal analyzer
WO1985001797A1 (en) * 1983-10-13 1985-04-25 Coulter Electronics, Inc. Method and apparatus for transporting carriers of sealed sample tubes and mixing the sample
US4609017A (en) * 1983-10-13 1986-09-02 Coulter Electronics, Inc. Method and apparatus for transporting carriers of sealed sample tubes and mixing the samples
US4844868A (en) * 1985-06-18 1989-07-04 Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba Automatic chemical analysis reagent distribution and analysis apparatus
US5075082A (en) * 1986-07-11 1991-12-24 Beckman Instruments, Inc. Reagent cartridge
US4859605A (en) * 1986-12-16 1989-08-22 Ciba-Geigy Corporation Process for preparation of samples for analysis
US5260028A (en) * 1988-02-22 1993-11-09 Astle Thomas W Method and apparatus for effecting solid phase extraction
US5087423A (en) * 1988-10-20 1992-02-11 Olympus Optical Co., Ltd. Automatic analyzing apparatus comprising a plurality of analyzing modules
US5178834A (en) * 1989-07-19 1993-01-12 Tosoh Corporation Automatic immunoassay analyzer
US5147610A (en) * 1990-06-15 1992-09-15 Hitachi, Ltd. Automatic analyzing apparatus
US20060013729A1 (en) * 1991-02-14 2006-01-19 Glen Carey Fluid handling apparatus for an automated analyzer
US20030194349A1 (en) * 1991-03-04 2003-10-16 Glen Carey Fluid handling apparatus for an automated analyzer
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US20050266570A1 (en) * 1991-03-04 2005-12-01 Bayer Corporation Cuvette for an automated analyzer
US20020085959A1 (en) * 1991-03-04 2002-07-04 Glen Carey Cuvette for an automated analyzer
US5334349A (en) * 1992-07-16 1994-08-02 Schiapparelli Biosystems, Inc. Liquid transfer module for a chemical analyzer
EP0809829A1 (en) * 1995-02-16 1997-12-03 Smithkline Beecham Corporation Apparatus and process
EP0809829A4 (en) * 1995-02-16 2009-07-15 Quest Diagnostics Invest Inc Apparatus and process
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IL41813D0 (en) 1973-05-31
ZA7301884B (en) 1974-03-27
NL7303762A (en) 1973-09-25
AR197030A1 (en) 1974-03-08
SE393459B (en) 1977-05-09
IT979893B (en) 1974-09-30
FR2176869A1 (en) 1973-11-02
CH563020A5 (en) 1975-06-13
AU5360473A (en) 1974-09-26
IL41813A (en) 1975-07-28
JPS5620502B2 (en) 1981-05-14
BR7301930D0 (en) 1974-07-11
CA1027836A1 (en)
CA1027836A (en) 1978-03-14
DE2313617A1 (en) 1973-11-29
ES412858A1 (en) 1976-06-01
GB1417852A (en) 1975-12-17
BE797006A2 (en)
BE797006A (en) 1973-07-16
FR2176869B1 (en) 1974-05-17
JPS4915486A (en) 1974-02-09

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