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1. WO2020109746 - METHOD OF TRACE SAMPLING

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[ EN ]

CLAIMS

1. A method of sampling for trace substances, the method comprising the steps of:

a) Locating an item to be sampled in an item holder, wherein the item holder comprises retention means for holding the item and adjustment means for positioning and orientating retention means;

b) Orientating the retention means to a predetermined orientation using the adjustment means; and then

c) Sampling the item using a sampling apparatus;

such that a plurality of similar items can be sampled in a repeatable manner.

2. The method of claim 1 further comprising the step of translating the retention means to a predetermined position using the adjustment means.

3. The method of any one of claims 1-2, wherein the adjustment means is automated.

4. The method of any one of claims 1-3, wherein the step of sampling the item comprises sampling the item at a predetermined sampling rate.

5. The method of any one of claims 1-4, wherein the step of sampling the item comprises sampling the item over a predetermined sampling area.

6. The method of any one of claims 1-5, wherein the step of sampling the item comprises sampling the item with a predetermined force.

7. The method of any preceding claim wherein the method of sampling is a method of direct sampling.

8. The method of claim 7 wherein the method of direct sampling is swabbing.

9. The method of claim 8 wherein the sampling apparatus comprises a swab attached to a means for automatically moving the swab.

10. The method of any preceding claim wherein the retention means comprises a frame.

11. The method of claim 10 wherein the frame comprises means for adjusting the inner dimensions of the frame.

12. The method of claim 11 wherein the means for adjusting the inner dimensions of the frame comprises a deformable resilient material lining an interior surface of the frame.

13. The method of any preceding claim wherein the adjustment means comprises a ball joint.

14. The method of any preceding claim wherein the step of orientating the retention means further comprises the step of locking the adjustment means at the predetermined orientation.

15. Trace sampling equipment, comprising an item holder and sampling apparatus, wherein the item holder comprises retention means for holding an item to be sampled, and adjustment means for positioning and orientating the retention means, such that a plurality of similar items can be sampled in a repeatable manner.