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1. (WO2003022435) SAMPLE VESSELS
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1. A sample vessel comprising:
a tubule having an opening for receiving a sample material and at least one compressible section, the at least one compressible section having a wall constructed at least partially from a material having sufficient flexibility to permit compression of opposed sections of the wall into contact;
a generally rigid container receiving at least a portion of the tubule; and
an interface in fluid communication with the opening in the tubule, the interface facilitating delivery of a sample material to the tubule through the opening.

2. The sample vessel of claim 1, wherein the interface is coupled to the tubule and seals the opening in the tubule to form a fluid tight seal.

3. The sample vessel of claim 1, wherein the interface is removable and replaceable connected to the rigid container and seals an opening in the container to form a fluid tight seal.

4. The sample vessel of claim 1, wherein at least a portion of the interface is formed of a resilient, self-sealing material.

5. The sample vessel of claim 4, wherein the resilient, self-sealing material is at least one of a plastic and a rubber.

6. The sample vessel of claim 1, wherein the interface includes a chamber in fluid communication with the tubule for selectively receiving a volume of sample material and/or reagent from the tubule.

7. The sample vessel of claim 6, wherein the interface includes a pressure gate to control fluid flow between the chamber and the tubule.

8. The sample vessel of claim 1, wherein the tubule is evacuated.

9. The sample vessel of claim 1, wherein the container is evacuated.

10. The sample vessel of claim 1, wherein the container is constructed of a material having a gas permeability less than that of a material forming the tubule.

11. The sample vessel of claim 1, further comprising a clamp for compressing the compressible section of the tubule to adjust the volume of the tubule.

12. The sample vessel of claim 1, wherein the tubule comprises a plurality of longitudinally spaced segments.

13. The sample vessel of claim 12, further comprising at least one pressure gate disposed within the tubule to separate the tubule into a plurality of segments.

14. The sample vessel of claim 12, further comprising at least one irreversible pressure gate disposed within the tubule to separate the tubule into a plurality of segments.

15. The sample vessel of claim 12, further comprising at least one micro-fluidic channel providing fluid communication between a plurality of segments.

16. The sample vessel of claim 1, further comprising a groove formed in a wall of the tubule, the groove forming a micro-fluidic channel or fixed volume micro-cup.

17. The sample vessel of claim 1, further comprising a depression on the interior wall surface thereof capable of forming a micro-cup.

18. The sample vessel of claim 1 , wherein the compressible section of the tubule is compressible to form a micro-fluidic channel connecting two compartments of the tubule.

19. The sample vessel of claim 1, further comprising a filter disposed within the tubule to separate selected components of a fluid within the tubule from other components of the fluid within the tubule.

20. The sample vessel of claim 1 , wherein the tubule comprises a plurality of lumens.

21. The sample vessel of claim 20, wherein the plurality of lumens are parallel to one another.

22. The sample vessel of claim 20, wherein the plurality of lumens are coextensive in length.

23. The sample vessel of claim 20, wherein the plurality of lumen are uniform in size and shape.

24. The sample vessel of claim 20, wherein at least one lumens is of a different size or shape than another lumen of the plurality of lumens.

25. The sample vessel of claim 20, wherein at least one lumen of the plurality lumens communicates with the opening in the tubule to receive the sample material.

26. The sample vessel of claim 20, wherein at least one lumen of the plurality of lumens contains a reagent.

27. The sample vessel of claim 26, wherein the reagent is at least one of an anticoagulant, a cell lyses reagent, a nucleotide, an enzyme, a DNA polymerase, a template DNA, an
ohgonucleotide, a primer, an antigen, an antibody, a receptor, a ligand, a protein, a dye, a marker, a molecular probe, a buffer, and a detection material.

28. The sample vessel of claim 20, further comprising a pressure gate between two lumens of the plurality of lumens to permit selective fluid communication between the two lumens.

29. The sample vessel of claim 20, further comprising a irreversible pressure gate between two lumens of the plurality of lumens to permit selective fluid communication between the two lumens.

30. The sample vessel of claim 1 , wherein the tubule is constructed of at least a plastic.

31. The sample vessel of claim 1 , wherein at least a portion of a wall of the tubule is constructed of a transparent material.

32. The sample vessel of claim 1 , wherein the tubule comprises a plurality of layers.

33. The sample vessel of claim 32, wherein a first layer having a first permeability and a second layer exterior to the first layer and having a second permeability lesser than the first
permeability.

34. The sample vessel of claim 32, wherein the second layer is constructed of a metal foil.

35. The sample vessel of claim 1, further comprising an adapter connected to the sample vessel to facilitate connection of the sample vessel to an external device, the adapter including a fluid channel to permit displacement of a fluid between the tubule and the external device.

36. The sample vessel of claim 35, wherein the external device is at least one of a micro-fluid device, a lab-on-a-chip device, a microarray device, a reagent source, and another sample vessel.

37. The sample vessel of claim 1, wherein the interface includes an instrument for obtaining a sample.

38. A sample vessel comprising, a tubule having a plurality of lumens and a wall constructed at least partially from a material having sufficient flexibility to permit compression of opposed sections of the wall into contact with one another; and
a pressure gate connecting at least two lumens of the plurality of lumens, the pressure gate permitting selective fluid flow between the at least two lumens.

39. The sample vessel of claim 38, wherein the plurality of lumens are parallel to one another.

40. The sample vessel of claim 38, wherein the plurality of lumens are coextensive in length.

41. The sample vessel of claim 38, wherein the plurality of lumens are uniform in size and shape.

42. The sample vessel of claim 38, wherein at least one lumen is of a different size or shape than another lumen of the plurality of lumens.

43. The sample vessel of claim 38, wherein at least one lumen of the plurality of lumens contains a reagent.

44. The sample vessel of claim 43, wherein the reagent is at least one of an anticoagulant, a cell lyses reagent, a nucleotide, an enzyme, a DNA polymerase, a template DNA, an
oligonucleotide, a primer, an antigen, an antibody, a receptor, a ligand, a protein, a dye, a marker, a molecular probe, a buffer, and a detection material.

45. The sample vessel of claim 38, wherein opposed portions of the wall of the tubule are shaped into contact to form a longitudinally extending seam that divides the tubule into at least two lumens that extend generally parallel to a longitudinal axis of the sample vessel.

46. The sample vessel of claim 38, further comprising an interface in fluid communication with at least one lumen of the tubule, the interface facilitating delivery of a sample material to at least one lumen of the tubule.

47. The sample vessel of claim 46, wherein at least a portion of the interface is formed of a resilient, self-sealing material.

48. The sample vessel of claim 46, wherein the interface includes an instrument for obtaining a sample.

49. The sample vessel of claim 48, wherein the instrument is at least one of a needle, a pipettor, and a swab.

50. The sample vessel of claim 38, wherein at least one of the lumens of the plurality of lumens is an injection channel, the injection channel being normally substantially free of sample material and capable of fluid communication with at least one other lumen of the plurality of lumens.

51. The sample vessel of claim 50, wherein at least a portion of the wall of the tubule forming the injection channel is formed of resilient, self-sealing material.

52. The sample vessel of claim 50, wherein the portion of the wall has an increased thickness compared with other portions of the wall.

53. The sample vessel of claim 38, wherein at least a portion of the wall of the tubule is constructed of a material having increased rigidity compared with other portions of the wall.

54. The sample vessel of claim 38, wherein the wall of the tubule has a homogenous construction.

55. The sample vessel of claim 38, wherein at least a portion of the wall of the tubule is constructed of a material selected to provide a property distinct from a property of another portion of the wall of the tubule.

56. The sample vessel of claim 55, wherein the property is at least one of permeability, flexibility, hardness, optical transparency, biocompatibility, surface smoothness, and surface chemistry.

57. The sample vessel of claim 38, wherein at least a portion of the wall of the tubule is coated with a layer of material to provide a surface property to the wall.

58. The sample vessel of claim 38, wherein the tubule comprises a plurality of longitudinally spaced segments.

59. The sample vessel of claim 58, further comprising at least one micro-fluidic channel providing fluid communication between at least the longitudinally spaced segments and/or the lumens of the tubule.

60. A sample vessel comprising:
a tubule having a wall, the wall forming a lumen when the tubule is in an open configuration, the wall having a plurality of sections, at least a first section of the wall having sufficient flexibility to permit compression of a portion of the tubule, at least a second section of the wall having sufficient rigidity to support a flow channel within the tubule during compression of the tubule.

61. The sample vessel of claim 60, wherein a section of the wall is formed of a material selected to provide a property distinct from a property of another section of the wall.

62. The sample vessel of claim 60, wherein the plurality of sections of the wall are longitudinally spaced.

63. The sample vessel of claim 60, wherein the plurality of sections of the wall are latitudinally spaced.

64. The sample vessel of claim 60, wherein the flow channel is pre-formed in a section of the wall that is formed of a material having increased rigidity compared to the first section of the wall.

65. The sample vessel of claim 60, wherein the wall includes a third section, the second section being interposed between the first section and the third section, the third section having sufficient flexibility to permit compression of a portion of the tubule.

66. The sample vessel of claim 65, wherein the first section is opposed to the third section during compression of the tubule.

67. The sample vessel of claim 60, wherein the wall includes a third section, the first section being interposed between the second section and the third section, the third section being selected of a material having increased rigidity compared to the first section.

68. The sample vessel of claim 67, wherein the second section is opposed to the third section during compression of the tubule.

69. The sample vessel of claim 60, wherein the second section of the wall includes a groove on an interior wall surface thereof for forming a micro-fluidic channel during compression of the tubule.

70. The sample vessel of claim 60, wherein the second section of the wall includes a depression on an interior wall surface thereof for forming a fix- volume micro-cup during compression of the tubule.

71. The sample vessel of claim 60, wherein the second section of the wall includes a microarray device embedded on an interior wall surface thereof, the microarray having a plurality of reagent coated zones for simultaneous analysis of a plurality of analytes.

72. The sample vessel of claim 60, wherein the first section is opposed to the second section during compression of the tubule.

73. The sample vessel of claim 61 , wherein the property is at least one of permeability, flexibility, hardness, optical transparency, and biocompatibility, surface smoothness, and surface chemistry.

74. The sample vessel of claim 60, wherein the material of the first section is different from the material of the second section.

75. A sample vessel comprising,
a tubule having a plurality of lumens and a wall constructed at least partially from a material having sufficient flexibility to permit compression of opposed sections of the wall into contact with one another, at least two of the lumens of the plurality of lumens being connected by a micro-fluidic channel.

76. The sample vessel of claim 75, wherein the plurality of lumens are parallel to one another.

77. The sample vessel of claim 75, wherein the tubule includes an opening for receiving a fluid sample and the micro-fluidic channel is located distal to the opening.

78. An apparatus for drawing a sample into a sample vessel, the apparatus comprising:
a cylindrical housing having an opening for receiving the sample vessel;
first means for compressing a first portion of the sample vessel, the first compression means positioned at a proximal end of the housing; and second means for compressing a second portion of the sample vessel, the second compression means positioned at a distal end of the housing.

79. The apparatus of claim 78, wherein the first compression means comprises a pair of spaced apart rollers, at least one of the rollers being selectively movable into contact with the other roller to compress the sample vessel between the rollers.

80. The apparatus of claim 78, wherein the second compression means comprises a pair of spaced apart rollers, at least one of the rollers being selectively movable into contact with the other roller to compress the sample vessel between the rollers.

81. The sample tubule of claim 38, wherein the pressure gate is an irreversible pressure gate.