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1. WO2004061424 - TUBE DE REGROUPEMENT D'ECHANTILLONS

Note: Texte fondé sur des processus automatiques de reconnaissance optique de caractères. Seule la version PDF a une valeur juridique

[ EN ]

SAMPLE BANKING TUBE

Technical Field

The present invention relates to a sample banking tube, which is capable of simply and easily storing aliquots of the residual sample after carrying out experiments or examining patient's pathogenic states in order to allow for use of the residual sample in only quantities required for testing and the multiple uses of the residual sample, and thus of precisely diagnosing the patient' s pathogenic states and constructing a database using test results accumulated through the multiple tests .
The term "sample banking tube", as used herein, refers to a tube that is capable of storing small aliquots of a sample and allows for taking only quantities needed of the sample for testing, wherein the sample is a biological sample such as a blood sample collected for the examination of patient's pathogenic states.

Background Art

Typically, only a portion of a liquid-phase sample such as a blood sample collected from a patient is used for testing of patient's pathogenic states. The residual samples are, for retesting and future's studies, stored in test sample tubes, or, with reference to FIG. la, aliquotted to microtubes 140 from the test sample tubes, wherein the microtubes are marked with patients' names, recognition numbers, etc., and held in a rack 200. Since blood samples are stored at the state of being aliquotted into a plurality of microtubes, the conventional methods have significant problems, as follows: a large area is required for storage of the sample; the sample often deteriorates during storage because the microtubes are not completely sealed; the residual after the use of the stored sample cannot be reused and is thus discarded; and, due to the immediately above-mentioned drawbacks, a sample cannot be used for multiple tests to be carried out at different times.
That is, when a stored sample, such as a blood sample, is thawed and then frozen again, the sample often deteriorates, and thus cannot be reused, thereby resulting in waste of the sample and limitation of the sample in use frequency. Thus, the conventional methods do not ensure the multiple uses of biological samples for diverse testing.
To carry out multiple testing for a single sample, the sample can be stored as aliquots put into several tubes. However, this case requires cumbersome sampling works, large space for storage of the sample and difficulty in management.

Disclosure of the Invention

Keeping the aforementioned problems in mind, the intensive and through research resulted in the finding that, when a sample remained after being used in various tests or another sample collected from a patient is put into a plastic hose-shaped tube and stored in a frozen state after thermally integrated junctions having cutting lines are formed on the tube to provide a plurality of small-sized tubes spaced apart from each other at regular intervals, the sample is stored for a long period without deterioration as well as being used later in quantities required for testing by cutting each of the small-sized tubes .
Therefore, it is an object of the present invention to provide a sample banking tube capable of simply, easily and effectively storing small aliquots of a liquid-phase sample such as a blood sample, including a sample storage tube comprising a cylindrical insert provided at an upper portion of the sample storage tube to closely contact with a tip of a pipette (aspirator) , an external shoulder to be held on an upper surface of a storage rack when the sample storage tube is stored in the rack, and a suction needle provided at a lower end of the sample storage tube to draw the sample into the liquid-phase sample storage tube from a test sample tube; a plurality of thermally integrated junctions provided in a body of the sample storage tube to partition the body of the sample storage tube into a plurality of small-sized tubes spaced apart from each other at regular intervals; and a cutting line provided in each of the plurality of the thermally integrated junctions to allow each of the small-sized tubes to be torn off.

Brief Description of the Drawings

The above and other objects, features and other advantages of the present invention will be more clearly understood from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:
FIG. la illustrates a conventional microtube for sample storage;
FIG. lb illustrates the conventional microtubes stored at a state of being held in a storage rack;
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of a sample storage tube of a sample banking tube according to an embodiment of the present invention, which is thermally integrated at positions of regular intervals after a sample is put into the storage tube;
FIG. 3a is a cross-sectional view of the sample storage tube of FIG. 2 upon storage of a liquid-phase sample such as a blood sample;
FIG. 3b is a latitudinal cross-sectional view of the sample storage tube of FIG. 2;
FIG. 4 illustrates one small-sized tube tore off from the sample storage tube of FIG. 2, which is cut off at an upper or lower angled end thereof upon use of the sample stored;
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the sample storage tube of the sample banking tube according to the present invention;
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of a sample storage of a sample banking tube according to another embodiment of the present invention, wherein one of the thermally integrated junctions is shown in an enlarged state; and
FIGS. 7a and 7b are latitudinal cross-sectional views of bodies of sample storage tubes of sample banking tubes having a circular or elliptical cross-section according to further embodiments of the present invention.

Best Mode for Carrying Out the Invention

The present invention will be described in detail in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, as follows.
The sample banking tube for storage of a liquid-phase sample such as a blood sample at a frozen state is characterized by including a sample storage tube 10 having a cylindrical insert 12 provided at an upper end of the sample storage tube 10 to closely contact with a tip of a pipette (aspirator) , an external shoulder 19 to be held on an upper surface of a storage rack when the sample storage tube 10 is stored in the rack, and a suction needle 13 provided at a lower end of the sample storage tube 10 to draw the sample into the sample storage tube 10 from a test sample tube. A plurality of thermally integrated junctions 15 are provided in a body 11 of the sample storage tube 10 to partition the body 11 of the sample storage tube 10 into a plurality of small-sized tubes 14 spaced apart from each other at regular intervals. A cutting line 16 is provided in each of the plurality of the thermally integrated junctions 15 to allow each of the small-sized tubes 14 to be torn off.
The body 11 of the sample storage tube 10 includes a mark 17 provided at a predetermined position under an uppermost one of the plurality of thermally integrated junctions 15 to indicate a maximum level of the sample stored in the sample storage tube.
In one embodiment of the present invention, each of the plurality of thermally integrated junctions 15 has a wave shape to discharge the sample from each of the plurality of small-sized tubes 14 by cutting an upper or lower angled end of each of the small-sized tubes 14.
In another embodiment of the present invention, each of the thermally integrated junctions 15 provided in the body 11 of the sample storage tube 10 has a horizontal flat shape, and the cutting line 16 is provided along a horizontal center of each of the thermally integrated junctions 15.
The body 11 of the sample storage tube 10 has a rectangular, circular or elliptical cross-section.
Typically, biological samples are collected in test sample tubes, and only a portion thereof is used in various experiments or tests, for example, for checking the patients' pathogenic states. The residual samples are discarded or stored for further tests or studies. The sample banking tube of the present invention stores such residual samples, thus preventing waste of the biological samples and facilitating the use of the samples in small quantities.
In order to draw a sample contained in a test sample tube using a pipette, a tip at a lower end of the pipette is inserted into the cylindrical insert 12 located at the upper end of the sample storage tube 10.
The cylindrical insert 12 of the sample storage tube 10 includes a tapered inner surface to maintain airtightness when the sample is drawn into the sample storage tube 10.
The sample storage tube 10 includes the suction needle 13 having a pipette tip-like shape provided at the lower end thereof to draw the sample into the sample storage tube 10 from a test sample tube.
The sample storage tube 10 has a shape of a plastic hose before the sample is drawn thereinto. After the sample is drawn into the sample storage tube 10 and filled up to the mark 17 located at an upper portion of the sample storage tube 10, the sample storage tube 10 is thermally integrated at positions of regular intervals to provide the plurality of thermally integrated junctions 15.
When each of the plurality of thermally integrated junctions 15 is formed at a state at which the plastic hose is filled with the sample, the body 11 of the sample storage tube 10 becomes in the shape of a series of the small-sized tubes 14.
The thermally integrated junctions 15 provided in the body 11 of the sample storage tube 10 are preferably spaced apart from each other at regular intervals of 1.2 cm and 5 mm in width.
However, the present invention is not limited to the aforementioned interval and width. If desired, the interval may be increased. However, the longer intervals are wasteful. That is, it is effective for the small-sized tubes to be formed in the body of the sample storage tube as many as possible.
To allow each of the small-sized tubes 14 to be torn off, the cutting line 16 is horizontally provided on a central region of each of the thermally integrated junctions 15 in the body 11 of the sample storage tube 10 including the plurality of small-sized tubes 14.
Preferably, the amount of the sample contained in each of the small-sized tubes 14, but is not limited to, is higher than 0.1 to 0.15 cc. Since a sample is typically required for testing in at least an amount of 0.1 to 0.15 cc, each of the small-sized tubes 14 preferably contains the sample in an amount higher than the range.
In the first embodiment of the present invention, each of the thermally integrated junctions 15, which are provided to partition the sample storage tube 10 filled with a sample into the plurality of small-sized tubes 14, as shown in FIG. 2, has a wave shape. When the sample stored is desired to be used, each of the small-sized tubes 14 is tore off and, as shown in FIG. 4, cut at the upper or lower angled end thereof.
For convenient use, each of the thermally integrated junctions 15 formed in the body 11 of the small-sized tubes 14 by using a thermal compressor is, as shown in FIGS. 2 and 4, preferably wave-shaped. However, if desired, each of the thermally integrated junctions 15 may be provided in a linear form with the cutting line 16 provided along a horizontal center of each of the thermally integrated junctions 15.
The sample storage tube 10 of the present invention is made of a plastic material, and may have a rectangular cross-section as shown in FIG. 3b, or a circular or elliptical cross-section as shown in FIGS. 7a and 7b.
Unlike the conventional sample storage technique in which a sample is aliquotted into several microtubes, in the present invention, the sample is stored in a single sample storage tube having a series of small-sized tubes according to the present invention at a frozen state, and, according to the intended use, is thaw by cutting each of the small-sized tubes .
Since the sample storage tube 10 stores a sample collected for examining patient' s pathogenic states or studies at completely sealing and frozen states, it allows for the sample stored to be used for comparison with the present pathogenic states of the patient, thereby facilitating construction of a database using the accumulated test results to easily and simply manage the patient.
In addition, since the sample storage tube 10 of the present invention has a series of small-sized tubes 14, a sample is not necessary to be aliquotted into several tubes but stored in a single tube. Therefore, the sample storage tube 10 offers easy, simple and convenient sample storage and management, and reduces errors that happens upon sample handling for storage.
The body 11 of the sample storage tube 10 includes a label 18 provided on a side wall of each of the plurality of small-sized tubes 14 to record informations such as the sex, name and age of patients from which, for example, blood samples are collected.
The sample banking tube of the present invention will be described based on the accompanying drawings, as follows.

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view of a sample storage tube of a sample banking tube to allow a sample to be drawn thereinto from a test sample tube according to an embodiment of the present invention. After a sample is put into the sample storage tube 10 up to a mark 17 using a pipette, the sample storage tube 10 is thermally integrated at positions of intervals of about 1.2 cm using a thermal compressor to provide a plurality of junctions 15 and thus provide a plurality of small-sized tubes 14.
FIG. 3a is a cross-sectional view of the sample storage tube of FIG. 2 upon storage of a sample. The sample storage tube 10 filled with the sample and having the plurality of thermally integrated junctions 15, as described above, is stored at states at which a cylindrical insert 12 and a suction needle 13, which are respectively provided at upper and lower ends of the sample storage tube 10, are cut off.
FIG. 3b is a latitudinal cross-sectional view of the body 11 having the small-sized tubes 14 of FIG. 2.
FIG. 4 illustrates one small-sized tube 14 that is cut off at an upper angled end thereof upon use of the sample stored. When the sample stored is desired to be used, each of the small-sized tubes 14 is torn off and cut at an upper or lower angled end thereof.
FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view of the sample storage tube of the sample banking tube according to the present invention, which includes a plurality of small-sized tubes 14 provided in the a body 11 thereof.
FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of a sample storage tube of a sample banking tube according to another embodiment of the present invention, wherein one of the thermally integrated junctions is shown in an enlarged state. After being filled with a sample such as a blood sample, the sample storage tube 10 is thermally integrated to provide a plurality of junctions 15 having not a wave shape but a linear shape. A cutting line 16 is provided along a horizontal center of each of the thermally integrated junctions 15.
FIGS. 7a and 7b are latitudinal cross-sectional views of bodies of sample storage tubes of banking tubes having a circular or elliptical cross-section according to further embodiments of the present invention.

Industrial Applicability

As described hereinbefore, the sample banking tube, which includes a plurality of thermally integrated junctions at positions of regular intervals to provide a plurality of small-sized tubes, has advantages of minimizing the space required for storage of samples at frozen states and tightly sealing samples by the plurality of thermally integrated junctions and thus storing samples without deterioration for a long period. The sample banking tube has further advantages of storing a sample, for example, collected from a patient, in a single tube and thus being convenient in use and management and allowing for each of the small-sized tubes to be tore off and thus preventing unnecessary sample waste. The sample banking tube has another advantage of allowing for multiple uses of a same sample and thus allowing constructing a database using the accumulated test results to easily and simply analyze the test results. Therefore, the sample banking tube of the present invention makes it possible to more precisely diagnose, especially, the patient's pathogenic states, and thus useful for studies in the medical fields.