Means Is Conveyor And Rack Patents (Class 422/65)
  • Patent number: 10239694
    Abstract: A warehouse automation system adapted to improve warehouse operating productivity includes a plurality of carts for transporting products within a warehouse and a controller. The controller is adapted to associate a first one of the plurality of carts with a first person and to control the first cart to lead the first person around the warehouse. According to one advantage, the time the first person spends restocking, picking, counting, sorting, moving, and packing product into customer orders and shipments, for example, is reduced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 12, 2018
    Date of Patent: March 26, 2019
    Assignee: 6 River Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Rylan Hamilton, Jerome Dubois, Christopher Cacioppo, Timothy Higgins, Josh Chaitin-Pollak
  • Patent number: 10163202
    Abstract: The present invention provides an automatic blood-sampling tube preparation device which can detect the presence of the proper or improper blood-sampling tube by selectively taking out a blood-sampling tube and transferring the blood-sampling tube to a label pasting position, printing information of the patient on a label, pasting the printed label on the blood-sampling tube positioned in the label pasting position, and collecting the label pasted blood-sampling tubes in the container for each patient. The device also includes photographing means for photographing an appearance of the blood-sampling tube taken out from the blood-sampling tube containing section and a control means arranged to have a threshold with respect to at least one characteristic information previously extracted from an appearance of a blood-sampling tube, to extract the characteristic information from the appearance image photographed to judge whether the blood-sampling tube corresponds to the instruction information from the doctor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 25, 2018
    Assignee: TECHNO MEDICA CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Toshikazu Matsumoto, Yoshimi Hirasawa, Yasushi Nakano, Yusuke Wada, Ichiro Nakamura
  • Patent number: 10006927
    Abstract: A method of operating a laboratory automation system is presented. The laboratory automation system comprises a plurality of laboratory stations and a plurality of sample container carriers. The sample container carriers carry one or more sample containers. The sample containers comprise samples to be analyzed by the laboratory stations. The system also comprises a transport plane. The transport plane supports the sample container carriers. The system also comprises a drive. The drive moves the sample container carriers on the transport plane. The method comprises, during an initialization of the laboratory automation system, logically reserving at least one buffer area on the transport plane and, after the initialization of the laboratory automation system, buffering in the at least one buffer area sample container carriers carrying sample containers comprising samples waiting for a result of an analysis. Depending on the result of the analysis, the samples are further processed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 13, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 26, 2018
    Assignee: Roche Diagnostics Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: Achim Sinz, Namitha Mallikarjunaiah, Christoph Pedain
  • Patent number: 9970952
    Abstract: The present invention provides an efficient apparatus for extracting biologically active substances through a magnetic particle method, comprising a magnetic needle, a magnetic needle moving mechanism, a sleeve and a sleeve moving mechanism and a vibration mechanism, a bracket, a positioning mechanism; the vibration mechanism is capable of generating vibrations to enable the sleeve moving mechanism to make upward and downward vibrations; wherein the magnetic needle can vertically insert into and move out of the sleeve; the sleeve can vertically insert into and move out of a sample treatment area; and the vibration mechanism comprises a lever bar, a movable fulcrum and a rotary mechanism. The present invention further provides an instrument comprising the apparatus for extracting biologically active substances. The present invention further provides a method for extracting and purifying biologically active substances using the apparatus or the instrument for extracting biologically active substances.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 11, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 15, 2018
    Assignee: GENMAG BIOTECHNOLOGY CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Xinzhi Liu, Zhifang Guo, Haifeng Zhao
  • Patent number: 9958469
    Abstract: An automated method of isolating and analyzing an analyte using a form-locking gripping mechanism. An analytical system comprising consumables and a handler, wherein the handler and consumable interact with a form-locking gripping mechanism are also included.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 7, 2014
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2018
    Assignee: Roche Molecular Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Renato Belz, Urs Knecht, Christian Thalmann, Veronika Trottmann
  • Patent number: 9903798
    Abstract: Specimen collection slides, methods of fabricating and methods of utilizing such specimen collection slides whereby each specimen collection slide includes a top rigid layer with an opening, a bottom rigid layer with an opening substantially the same size as the top layer opening, a middle rigid section having an opening larger than the openings in both the top and bottom layers, and a filtration media residing within the opening in the middle section. The top, bottom and middle are secured together to provide the resultant slide with thickness and rigidity that lends the slide to be utilized in automated handling processes and instruments. The middle section of the slide encases the filtration media and sandwiches it between the top and bottom layers so that the filtration media is protected from damage. Each slide may have its own unique identifier.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 27, 2018
    Inventor: Thomas W. Astle
  • Patent number: 9846169
    Abstract: An automated system and method for storing/retrieving vessel holders is presented. A first storage compartment comprises first storage sections. A first translating mechanism vertically translates one storage section to a loading level for loading holders into the first storage compartment and translates one storage section to a handing-in level for handing in holders to/from an analyzer. A second storage compartment comprises second storage sections. A second translating mechanism vertically translates one second storage sections to a handing-out level and translates one storage section to an unloading level for unloading holders from the second storage compartment. A first transport mechanism comprises a first conveyor for transporting holders from a first storage section at the handing-in level to a handing-over station. A second transport mechanism comprises a second conveyor for transporting holders from the handing-over station to a second storage section at the handing-out level.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2013
    Date of Patent: December 19, 2017
    Assignee: Roche Diagnostics Operations, Inc.
    Inventors: Martin Burri, Andreas Eberhart, Akihiro Tanji
  • Patent number: 9829497
    Abstract: A sample analysis system includes a first measurement unit, a second measurement unit arranged to a downstream side of the first measurement unit, and an information processing section which obtains a measurement result of a sample. The information processing section determines, based on the measurement result of the sample measured by the first measurement unit, whether or not a retest of the sample by the first measurement unit is necessary. When the retest by the first measurement unit is necessary, the information processing section causes the sample container to be transported to a first sample supply position for the first measurement unit and causes the first measurement unit to perform measurement of the sample.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 28, 2017
    Assignee: SYSMEX CORPORATION
    Inventors: Hiroo Tatsutani, Tomoyuki Asahara, Keisuke Kuwano
  • Patent number: 9772341
    Abstract: An automatic positioning apparatus can be used for sucking out the specimen even if the shapes of racks differ from each other is provided. The automatic positioning apparatus includes a shape-information obtaining apparatus which obtains the shape information of the rack including arrangement information of a specimen vessel, a position determining apparatus which transports racks to arrange the specimen vessel at a specimen-sucking position, and a control unit which controls the position determining apparatus to transport racks depending on shaped of the racks based on the shape information of racks. Further, the automatic positioning apparatus includes a vessel detecting apparatus which detects whether there is the specimen vessel held in the rack, and at the same time, determines a position of the specimen vessel on the transport path as an adjustment reference position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 29, 2009
    Date of Patent: September 26, 2017
    Assignee: Beckman Coulter, Inc.
    Inventor: Mizuki Nakamura
  • Patent number: 9739793
    Abstract: An analysis apparatus includes a first analysis unit which collects samples by utilizing a first nozzle to analyze the sample, a second analysis unit which collects samples by utilizing a second nozzle to analyze the sample, and a transport apparatus which transports a plurality of sample vessels along a predetermined transport route. When a predetermined waiting state is provided such that the transport of the plurality of sample vessels is interrupted or stopped, then the sample collecting position is changed for at least one of the first and second nozzles, and the samples are collected from the plurality of sample vessels by means of the nozzle having the changed position. Accordingly, it is possible to enhance the efficiency of the analysis process performed by the analysis apparatus, while suppressing the transport apparatus from being large-sized and suppressing the structure from being complicated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 31, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2017
    Assignee: ARKRAY, Inc.
    Inventors: Noriaki Furusato, Kousuke Kubo
  • Patent number: 9733161
    Abstract: First and second racks each has fixed positions to hold sample tubes. First and second drawers slide into and out of the case, and that support the first and second racks, respectively. A tube set unit is provided in an area close to the first rack in the case. A tube transfer unit removes sample tubes from the first and second racks in the case and a controller that controls a transfer operation of the tube transfer unit. The first rack is supported by the first drawer such that the first rack leaves a transit location in the case behind the first drawer in the direction of the first drawer movement into the case. The controller controls the tube transfer unit to remove at least one sample tube from the second rack and transfers the tube to the tube set unit via a path traversing the transit location.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2014
    Date of Patent: August 15, 2017
    Assignee: SYSMEX CORPORATION
    Inventors: Takaaki Nagai, Daigo Fukuma, Mitsuo Yamasaki, Noriyuki Nakanishi, Syunsuke Yao, Tomonori Okazaki, Takahiro Saino
  • Patent number: 9669406
    Abstract: In one aspect, the invention provides a sample assembly to be used in a fluorescent measurement device. The sample assembly comprises a sample carrier, a sample holder that comprises at least one receptacle and a movable platform. The sample carrier is shaped in such a way that it can be secured into the receptacle by a suitable locking means. The sample holder is held in place on the movable platform through any suitable means, such as for example, a magnetic means. The movable platform is capable of moving in a linear trajectory, an arcuate trajectory and combinations thereof. The movement of the movable platform and hence, the entire sample assembly is effected by at least one stepper motor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2011
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2017
    Assignee: Reametrix, Inc.
    Inventors: Bala S. Manian, Pramod Kummaya
  • Patent number: 9551646
    Abstract: An apparatus for environmental tests includes a chamber having formed therein a test space for disposing a sample, and a tray that is provided on the upper surface of the chamber and has an open upper surface. A front wall of the tray is configured by an operation unit where switches are provided. A rear wall of the tray is configured by a control unit housing a control substrate. A left wall and a right wall of the tray are configured by hollow bodies connecting the operation unit and the control unit. The tray is covered with a lid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 24, 2017
    Assignee: ESPEC CORP.
    Inventors: Osamu Matsuguma, Tetsuya Shimada, Shuichi Kanazawa
  • Patent number: 9535083
    Abstract: In some embodiments of the invention, the central controller may comprise a processor and a computer readable medium coupled to the processor. The computer readable medium comprises code, executable by the processor to implement a method. The method comprises identifying, by the processor, a sample container or a sample container holder associated with the sample container, and then accessing, by the processor, a location database storing mapping data correlating sample containers or sample container holders with sample containers to test regions in the storage unit. The test regions store sample containers with samples that have been or are to be tested according to different tests. After accessing the database, the method continues by providing, by the processor, a proposal for storage of the sample container or the sample container holder associated with the sample container in the storage unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 16, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 3, 2017
    Assignee: Beckman Coulter, Inc.
    Inventor: Patrick Cohen
  • Patent number: 9505005
    Abstract: A tube sorter includes a rack stocker configured to have stocked therein a sample rack capable of holding one or more sample tubes. A transporting section is configured to transport the sample rack and a tube conveyor is configured to unload a sample tube from the sample rack and load the sample tube onto a sample rack supplied from or stocked in the rack stocker. A rack pushing mechanism is configured to convey an empty sample rack or a sample rack to be emptied to the rack stocker.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 29, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 29, 2016
    Assignee: SYSMEX CORPORATION
    Inventor: Kei Takai
  • Patent number: 9500645
    Abstract: A microfluidic assay device that defines a micro-fluidic flow channel (44) having a flow axis, in which a series of discrete, axially-spaced apart, transparent hollow flow elements (32) are secured in fixed position, each flow element having at least one axially-extending flow passage through its interior, assay capture agent fixed to the interior surface of the elements for capture of an analyte in liquid flowing through the interior of the flow elements, the device constructed to enable light to be transmitted out of the elements for reading of fluorescence from captured analyte, wherein: the exterior axially-extending surfaces of the flow elements are free of active capture agent, while at least part of the interior surfaces carry deposits of active capture agent exposed to flow through the elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 6, 2014
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2016
    Assignee: CyVek, Inc.
    Inventors: Martin A. Putnam, Jeffrey T. Branciforte, Charles O. Stanwood, Jane M. Tu
  • Patent number: 9482662
    Abstract: The present invention relates to systems and methods for detecting analyte molecules or particles in a fluid sample and in some cases, determining a measure of the concentration of the molecules or particles in the fluid sample. Methods of the present invention may comprise immobilizing a plurality of analyte molecules or particles with respect to a plurality of capture objects. At least a portion of the plurality of capture objects may be spatially separated into a plurality of locations. A measure of the concentration of analyte molecules in a fluid sample may be determined, at least in part, on the number of reaction vessels comprising an analyte molecule immobilized with respect to a capture object. In some cases, the assay may additionally comprise steps including binding ligands, precursor labeling agents, and/or enzymatic components.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 22, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 1, 2016
    Assignee: Quanterix Corporation
    Inventors: David C. Duffy, David M. Rissin, David R. Walt, David Fournier, Cheuk Kan
  • Patent number: 9470608
    Abstract: This invention provides a sample processing system in which only one sample container is rested in one holder, the system being contemplated to prevent a mix-up of samples from occurring. A barcode labeler module 13 includes an identifier-reading device R1 that reads an identifier of a holder holding a primary-sample container, a printer 13B that prints a label based on information from a control PC unit 21 as well as on the identifier of the primary-sample container holder that has been read by the identifier-reading device R1, and affixes the label to a secondary-sample container, and a second identifier-reading device R2 that reads an identifier of the holder having the secondary-sample container mounted therein.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 30, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 18, 2016
    Assignee: Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: Kuniaki Onizawa, Hiroshi Ohga, Tatsuya Fukugaki
  • Patent number: 9417254
    Abstract: This analysis apparatus includes a plurality of a plurality of measurement units of mutually identical types generating measurement data by measuring the specimens, a transporter transporting the specimens to the respective ones of the plurality of measurement units, a display, common to the plurality of measurement units, displaying the analytical results generated by analyzing the measurement data and a transmitter transmitting the analytical results to a host computer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 3, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 16, 2016
    Assignee: SYSMEX CORPORATION
    Inventors: Takaaki Nagai, Masaharu Shibata, Yuichi Hamada, Daigo Fukuma
  • Patent number: 9395282
    Abstract: An isolator system includes first and second isolators respectively forming first and second workspaces hermetically sealed from ambient environment, and a pass box provided between the first and second isolators and forming a transport space enabled to communicate the first and second workspaces while maintaining hermeticity, wherein the pass box has a tray on which an article used in work is mounted, and a moving mechanism enabling movement of the tray toward directions to both sides of the first and second isolators, the tray has a first end on the first isolator side located in the first workspace when moved to the first isolator side, and a second end on the second isolator side located in the second workspace when moved to the second isolator side, and the first and second ends of the tray each has a grip bended downward from a mounting face of the tray.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 11, 2015
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2016
    Assignee: PANASONIC HEALTHCARE HOLDINGS CO., LTD.
    Inventors: Koichi Kobayashi, Yasuhiko Yokoi
  • Patent number: 9395381
    Abstract: The invention relates to a rotatable device (1) for transporting reaction vessels in an automatic analysis apparatus, said device (1) comprising a circular base plate (16), and a number of holders (2) which are connected to the base plate (16), are preferably made of a plastic and comprise the receiving positions (4, 6) for the reaction vessels.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 9, 2014
    Date of Patent: July 19, 2016
    Assignee: SIEMENS HEALTHCARE DIAGNOSTICS PRODUCTS GMBH
    Inventors: Joachim Bernhard, Joerg Filzinger, Hugo Wilmes
  • Patent number: 9377479
    Abstract: A system and method for the automated processing of fluids according to a process operation plan involving the use of preloaded objects, which are to be present in target object positions, are disclosed. The system includes: a processing area in which objects to be used for the processing of fluids are located; at least one ultrasonic sensor for determining the presence of objects by acoustical waves; a positioning device to which the ultrasonic sensor is fixed and which moves the ultrasonic sensor in at least one direction relative to the processing area; a control computer determining the presence of objects and determining if objects are present in target object positions in the processing area as defined by the process operation plan; a pipetting device for pipetting of fluids between cavities located in the processing area; and an analytical or pre-analytical processing device for processing of fluids located in the processing area.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 2015
    Date of Patent: June 28, 2016
    Assignee: Roche Molecular Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Daniel Burkard
  • Patent number: 9372199
    Abstract: The sample analyzer includes: a reagent arranging section for arranging a plurality of reagents; an analyzing section for analyzing a measurement sample prepared by mixing a sample and the reagent arranged on the reagent arranging section; a display device; an input device; and a display control section for displaying a reagent arrangement displaying region for displaying a plurality of reagent marks inscribed with a reagent name respectively on the display device, wherein the each reagent mark is displayed in a manner selectable by the input device, wherein arrangement of the each reagent mark on the reagent arrangement displaying region corresponds to arrangement of the each reagent on the reagent arranging section, wherein the display control section displays detailed information related to the reagent corresponding to the reagent mark selected by the input device on the display device.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 17, 2007
    Date of Patent: June 21, 2016
    Assignee: Sysmex Corporation
    Inventors: Hiroyuki Fujino, Kyozo Fujita, Mitsuyo Ito
  • Patent number: 9366686
    Abstract: A microplate stacker capable of removing and replacing standard microplate lids by separating a microplate from a lid located directly above the microplate in a stack of microplates and lids.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 17, 2014
    Date of Patent: June 14, 2016
    Assignee: BIO-TEK INSTRUMENTS, INC.
    Inventors: Matthew Stiles, William David Nicolay, G. Gerard Gormley, Byron Smith
  • Patent number: 9347586
    Abstract: The technology described herein generally relates to systems for extracting polynucleotides from multiple samples, particularly from biological samples, and additionally to systems that subsequently amplify and detect the extracted polynucleotides. The technology more particularly relates to microfluidic systems that carry out PCR on multiple samples of nucleotides of interest within microfluidic channels, and detect those nucleotides. The technology still more particularly relates to automated devices for carrying out pipetting operations, particularly on samples in parallel, consistent with sample preparation and delivery of PCR-ready nucleotide extracts to a cartridge wherein PCR is run.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 15, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 24, 2016
    Assignee: HandyLab, Inc.
    Inventors: Jeff Williams, Kerry Wilson
  • Patent number: 9333499
    Abstract: Pipetting apparatus has a block for holding pipette tips and connecting to pipette cones of a multiple-pipette head of a liquid handling apparatus. The block has cavities in an array and pipette tips inserted therein as well as conical plug-in openings for pipette cones of a multiple-pipette head. The block additionally has devices for connecting the block and the head. The block has receptacles with a shoulder and inserts for inserting into the receptacles, insert having a cavity, a cylindrical insertion opening with inserted pipette tip and a conical plug-in opening for sealing introduction of a pipette cone. Each insert has a support with which it rests on the shoulder of a corresponding receptacle when inserted into the block. Preferably each insert lies in the corresponding receptacle of the block with horizontal play on all sides.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 23, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 10, 2016
    Assignee: TECAN TRADING AG
    Inventor: Roland Bolliger
  • Patent number: 9329194
    Abstract: A laboratory automation system that is capable of carrying out clinical chemistry assays, immunoassays, amplification of nucleic acid assays, and any combination of the foregoing, said laboratory automation system employing at least one of micro-well plates and deep multi-well plates as reaction vessels. The use of micro-well plates as reaction vessels enables the laboratory automation system to assume a variety of arrangements, i.e., the laboratory automation system can comprise a variety of functional modules that can be arranged in various ways. In order to effectively carry out immunoassays by means of micro-well plates, a technique known as inverse magnetic particle processing can be used to transfer the product(s) of immunoassays from one micro-well of a micro-well plate to another.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 16, 2012
    Date of Patent: May 3, 2016
    Assignee: ABBOTT LABORATORIES
    Inventors: Patrick P. Fritchie, Gregory E. Gardner, Richard W. Mahoney
  • Patent number: 9322835
    Abstract: A biologic fluid sample analysis method and system is provided that includes a reagent depository, and analysis chamber, a biologic fluid transfer system, and a programmable analyzer. The reagent depository has a plurality of reagent deposits, and each reagent deposit located at a position within the depository independent of the other reagent deposits. The analysis chamber is adapted to quiescently hold a biologic fluid sample and one or more reagents during analysis. The biologic fluid transfer system has at least one fluid transfer device. The programmable analyzer is adapted to control the biologic fluid transfer system to acquire a volume of sample from a sample reservoir, dispense a volume of the sample into the reagent depository, acquire a volume of sample and reagent from the reagent depository, and to transfer the sample and reagent to the analysis chamber, and to analyze the combined sample and reagent.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 31, 2011
    Date of Patent: April 26, 2016
    Assignee: Abbott Point of Care, Inc.
    Inventor: Stephen C. Wardlaw
  • Patent number: 9304069
    Abstract: The invention relates to an apparatus for treatment of histological samples. The apparatus includes at least a working station, in which the sample gets into contact with a liquid reagent. Further, the apparatus includes a purification device, which blows off at least a part of the reagent adhering to the sample and/or the sample holding arrangement by means of a gas flow, or which sucks off at least a part of the reagent adhering to the sample and/or a sample holding arrangement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 24, 2014
    Date of Patent: April 5, 2016
    Assignee: Leica Biosystems Nussloch GmbH
    Inventors: Andrew Guy, Stella Knorr, Hermann Ulbrich
  • Patent number: 9297797
    Abstract: A method of determining an electrolyte in a sample including adding the sample to an electrolyte module, the electrolyte module including a dilution cup, a flow cell, and a pump, the flow cell having a flow channel with a first end and a second end, the first end fluidically coupled to the dilution cup, and the second end fluidically coupled to the pump; combining the sample with a diluent in the dilution cup to produce a diluted sample; operating the pump to aspirate the diluted sample into the flow cell; measuring the electrolyte in the diluted sample in the flow cell; and reversing the pump to dispense fluid through the second end to displace the diluted sample from the flow cell back into the dilution cup.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 30, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2016
    Assignee: Beckman Coulter, Inc.
    Inventors: Richard Lou Situ, Youqin E. Xie, Yuan M. Xie
  • Patent number: 9297822
    Abstract: A laboratory system for handling sample tube racks, an alignment element for sample tube racks and a rack tray receiver assembly are disclosed. The laboratory system to handle laboratory sample tube racks includes a robotic arm (220) with a gripper (222) for gripping primary racks (PR), the primary racks (PR) to be handled include a first end surface (76) and a second end surface (78), the first end surface (76) having a first surface geometry and the second end surface (78) having a second surface geometry, and the gripper (222) includes a first gripping arm (226) and a second gripping arm (228), with the first gripping arm (226) having a gripping surface being complementary to the first surface geometry, and the second gripping arm (228) having a gripping surface being complementary to the second surface geometry.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 2013
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2016
    Assignee: ROCHE DIAGNOSTICS OPERATIONS, INC.
    Inventors: Rolf Frey, Fritz Goedl, Bruno Koch, Joachim Lackner, Ueli Stettler, Beat Widmer
  • Patent number: 9291633
    Abstract: After being dispensed, a sample that needs to be quickly measured passes through another unit and is transported to an automatic analyzer. A plurality of units are provided for functions of processing including a dispensing unit that dispenses the sample stored in a sample vessel into another sample vessel. At least one discharge line discharges the sample from the dispensing unit to a transport line and a line that is perpendicular to the discharge line. A reverse direction transport line transports the sample in a direction reverse to a direction in which the sample loaded in the system is transported to the dispensing unit. The sample that is processed by the dispensing unit is transported to a storage unit located on the upstream side of the system, through the reverse direction transport line.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 9, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 22, 2016
    Assignee: HITACHI HIGH-TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION
    Inventors: Hiroshi Ohga, Tatsuya Fukugaki, Tetsuya Isobe, Shigeru Yano
  • Patent number: 9283557
    Abstract: A laboratory liquid handling system includes a pipetting module, a lab member, and a drive system. The pipetting module includes a pipettor including a pipettor shaft and a pipetting tip extending from an end of the pipettor shaft. The lab member includes a body and at least one adapter structure including an interlock feature configured to laterally receive and interlock with the pipettor shaft to releasably secure the lab member to the pipettor shaft. The drive system is operable to: selectively move the pipettor shaft laterally relative to the interlock structure to engage the pipettor shaft with the interlock structure to secure the lab member to the pipetting module; move the pipetting module to transport the lab member secured thereto; and selectively move the pipettor shaft laterally relative to the interlock structure to disengage the pipettor shaft from the interlock structure to thereby release the lab member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 21, 2015
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2016
    Assignee: PerkinElmer Health Sciences, Inc.
    Inventors: Eugene S. Maslana, Karen A. McElroy, Dennis F. Malkowski, James W. Sim
  • Patent number: 9279819
    Abstract: A sample processing system is disclosed which includes at least one processor and at least one memory that stores programs executable collectively by the at least one processor. According to the stored programs, the at least one processor transports sample containers through a conveying path along which there are arranged at least one first module for testing of samples and at least one second module for processing of samples which have been tested by the at least one first module. The at least one second module is switchable between an active state and an inactive state. The at least one processor further obtains a determination result as to whether a sample which has been tested by the at least one first module is necessary to be processed by the at least one second module.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 30, 2010
    Date of Patent: March 8, 2016
    Assignee: SYSMEX CORPORATION
    Inventors: Toru Mizumoto, Akio Toyoda
  • Patent number: 9269138
    Abstract: Methods for dispensing a fluid sample on a substrate include obtaining an image of a sample applicator in proximity to the substrate, where the image includes a first image of the sample applicator and a second image of the sample applicator, determining a height of the sample applicator relative to a surface plane of the substrate based on a distance between common portions of the first and second images, and dispensing the fluid sample onto the substrate using the sample applicator, where the dispensing includes: translating the sample applicator, translating the substrate, or translating both the sample applicator and the substrate to effect a relative translation between the sample applicator and the substrate; and maintaining the sample applicator within 2 microns of a target height relative to the surface plane of the substrate during the translating.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2016
    Assignee: Roche Diagnostics Hematology, Inc.
    Inventors: Russell Zahniser, David Zahniser, Stephen Conroy, Michael Zahniser
  • Patent number: 9259673
    Abstract: An assembly machine for assembling disposable syringe-driven filter is provided, which includes a rack and an automatic controller arranged on the rack. The automatic controller is electrically connected with a rotating table, a first automatic loading mechanism, an automatic filter disc-sucking mechanism, a second automatic loading mechanism, and an automatic unloading mechanism. Using the first and second automatic loading mechanisms, the automatic filter disc-sucking mechanism, and the automatic unloading mechanism, as well as the automatic controller, the assembly machine can realize the automatic loading of the upper cover of a disposable syringe-driven filter, the automatic placing of filter disc, the automatic loading and assembling of the lower cover of filter and the automatic unloading of the disposable syringe-driven filter, so that the automatic production of the disposable syringe-driven filter can be realized.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 28, 2013
    Date of Patent: February 16, 2016
    Inventors: Jianhua Yuan, Yejames Yuan
  • Patent number: 9244088
    Abstract: Stepped portions of a flow channel are reduced by completely fixing the channel that extends to the measuring unit, and reducing connections in the channel, thereby to suppress a disturbance in the flow of the liquid suctioned into the measuring unit. A means is provided so that the reaction solution and reagent suctioned will move towards the channel through which the liquids are suctioned.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 30, 2014
    Date of Patent: January 26, 2016
    Assignee: HITACHI HIGH-TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION
    Inventors: Susumu Sakairi, Taku Sakazume, Katsuaki Takahashi
  • Patent number: 9229019
    Abstract: A sample-processing system that improves total system processing efficiency, and reduces a sample-processing time, by establishing a functionally independent relationship between a rack conveyance block with rack supply, conveyance, and recovery functions, and a processing block with sample preprocessing, analysis, and other functions. A buffer unit with random accessibility to multiple racks standing by for processing is combined with each of multiple processing units to form a pair, and the system is constructed to load and unload racks into and from the buffer unit through the rack conveyance block so that one unprocessed rack is loaded into the buffer unit and then upon completion of process steps up to automatic retesting, unloaded from the buffer unit. Functional dependence between any processing unit and a conveyance unit is thus eliminated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 27, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 5, 2016
    Assignee: HITACH HIGH-TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION
    Inventors: Hitoshi Tokieda, Yoshimitsu Takagi, Takeshi Shibuya, Masashi Akutsu
  • Patent number: 9229071
    Abstract: The invention relates to the identification of molecules using electromagnetic write-heads and magneto-resistive sensors. In one embodiment, an electromagnetic write-head magnetically excites a molecule with an alternating magnetic field. A magneto-resistive sensor measures the resonant response of the magnetically excited molecule. A processor compares the resonant response to a table of known responses of different molecules to identify the chemical composition of the target molecule.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 1, 2011
    Date of Patent: January 5, 2016
    Assignee: International Business Machines Corporation
    Inventors: Allen Keith Bates, Anna Wanda Topol, Daniel James Winarski
  • Patent number: 9222952
    Abstract: A sample processing system comprising: first, second and third sample processing units; first, second and third sample transport units; and a control section is disclosed. In order to transport a sample rack which is to be introduced to the first sample transport unit to a destination sample transport unit which is located downstream of a second sample transport unit, the control section initially controls the first and second transport unit to move a transport member. When the sample rack arrives at a predetermined position on the transport path of the first transport unit, the control section controls the third transport unit to move a transport member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 24, 2011
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2015
    Assignee: SYSMEX CORPORATION
    Inventors: Hiroo Tatsutani, Hiroyuki Tanaka
  • Patent number: 9194878
    Abstract: An automatic analysis device has a light scattering photometer incorporated therein, and improved accuracy resulting from reducing the influences from external light. The automatic analysis device includes a scattered light measurement unit disposed inside the main-body casing, and openable/closable protective covers to cover the top face of the main-body casing. A first protective cover at the center includes a light-shielding part to block external light. The protective covers include see-through parts enabling viewing of the inside. The light-shielding part is configured to cover an area of the reaction disk at least corresponding to the area above the scattered light measurement unit, thus reducing external light leaking into the scattered light measurement unit, and thus removing influences from external light on the scattered light measurement. The protective cover may have a divided structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 31, 2012
    Date of Patent: November 24, 2015
    Assignee: Hitachi High-Technologies Corporation
    Inventors: Mitsuru Oonuma, Yoko Sato, Hajime Yamazaki, Akihito Wakui
  • Patent number: 9186677
    Abstract: The technology described herein generally relates to systems for extracting polynucleotides from multiple samples, particularly from biological samples, and additionally to systems that subsequently amplify and detect the extracted polynucleotides. The technology more particularly relates to microfluidic systems that carry out PCR on multiple samples of nucleotides of interest within microfluidic channels, and detect those nucleotides.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 14, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 17, 2015
    Assignee: HANDYLAB, INC.
    Inventors: Jeff Williams, Kerry Wilson, Kalyan Handique
  • Patent number: 9174779
    Abstract: An elastomeric vial cap used for sealing a vial container, but allowing pipette access to its containment fluid includes an annular flange portion for capping the vial and a sloped truncated cone portion to easily guide the pipette into the vial container. A tubular seal portion is configured to encircle the truncated cone portion and firmly engage an inside wall of the vial container with ease of insertion. A center flap portion is circumscribed by a channel at its top surface for penetration by the pipette and has a flex portion. The center flap portion separates around the perimeter of the channel but hinges at the channel above the flex portion and does not become dislodged. The ratio of the diameters of the pipette and the center flap portion is such that significant problems related to back-pressure and vacuum conditions do not exist during transfer of the containment fluid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 9, 2008
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2015
    Assignee: ASTRAZENECA AB
    Inventor: Matthew Boeckeler
  • Patent number: 9107652
    Abstract: An automated sample aspirating method in which a magnetic force is applied to a collection tube containing a sample carrier to move at least the top of the carrier to a location off the center axis of the collection tube. An aspirator is inserted into the tube at a vertical position along the sample carrier, and a fluid is aspirated from the tube. Also provided are a sample collector having a tip adapted to obtain a sample from a sample source, and a handle that extends from the tip and is magnetic at a location remote from the tip. Also provided is a sample processing system having a sample collector such as described above, a collection tube adapted to hold the sample collector with the tip at a closed lower end of the tube and the handle extending towards an open upper end of the tube, and a cap that seals the sample collector tip and at least a portion of the handle inside the tube.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 18, 2015
    Assignee: Qiagen Gaithersburg, Inc.
    Inventors: Yancy Kenan Ragin, Bert Jungheim
  • Patent number: 9103807
    Abstract: A rack collecting unit including: a transport path capable of transporting a sample rack in a first direction; a transport path capable of transporting the sample rack in a second direction opposite to the first direction; a storing section for storing therein the sample rack; and a transferring section for transferring the sample rack carried onto the transport paths to the storing section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 11, 2015
    Assignee: SYSMEX CORPORATION
    Inventors: Nobuhiro Kitagawa, Yuichiro Ohmae
  • Patent number: 9097690
    Abstract: In a large-scale analyzing system arrangement with a multi-sample processing capability, connecting a plurality of analyzing systems each having a minimum analyzer configuration makes it difficult for each analyzing system to continue analysis while managing and sharing the consumables information required for measurement between the analyzers. Additionally, since the sample preprocessing and conveying system does not recognize operational states of the analyzing systems during the analysis, conveyance of the sample to an analyzing system unable to conduct the analysis is likely to occur, resulting in delays in reporting the test results on the sample. The internal operational status of a plurality of analyzing systems is collectively managed and samples are conveyed between the analyzing systems. If the analysis is determined not to be capable of being continued, the sample is temporarily placed in a stand-by condition and then the analysis, after returning to a restartable state, is automatically continued.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 17, 2010
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2015
    Assignee: HITACHI HIGH-TECHNOLOGIES CORPORATION
    Inventors: Shigeru Yano, Atsushi Suzuki, Yasushi Aoki, Tatsuya Fukugaki
  • Patent number: 9091671
    Abstract: Arrangement enables liquid suction with a nozzle tip end in contact with a container bottom without causing damage to the nozzle and/or container bottom. Plural rails are disposed to extend upward from an arm which is movable three-dimensionally, so as to extend upward from the arm, and a pipe is fixed to a pipe fixing member movable along the rails. A pipe tip end functions as a nozzle. Plural resilient members disposed on the arm correct the inclination of the pipe fixing member. When the arm is moved downward and the tip end comes in contact with the bottom of the container 106, the pipe and the pipe fixing portion move upward along the rails, so that the pipe tip end can be brought into contact with the bottom surface of the container while avoiding damages in the pipe and container bottom, and to suck liquid in the container.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 2010
    Date of Patent: July 28, 2015
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Masahiro Okanojo, Hideyuki Noda
  • Patent number: 9086353
    Abstract: An optical instrument (10) has a drop-supporting surface for receiving a droplet (98) of liquid with a cover (16) mounted on the housing (12) which receives a light source and provides communication between the light source (114) and the inner surface of the cover. A loading aperture (24) extending through the cover permits access to the drophead when the cover is in a first rotational loading position, and the cover may be rotated to a measurement position in which the light source is positioned to illuminate the drop-supporting surface. A positioning mechanism provided between the cover an the housing engages the cover when it reaches the measurement position and thereby ensures that the light source and drop-supporting surface are maintained in fixed spaced-apart relationship.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 13, 2012
    Date of Patent: July 21, 2015
    Inventors: Norman McMillan, Martina O'Neill, Kevin Arthure, Stuart Smith
  • Patent number: 9073052
    Abstract: A laboratory liquid handling system includes a pipetting module, a lab member, and a drive system. The pipetting module includes a pipettor including a pipettor shaft and a pipetting tip extending from an end of the pipettor shaft. The lab member includes a body and at least one adapter structure including an interlock feature configured to laterally receive and interlock with the pipettor shaft to releasably secure the lab member to the pipettor shaft. The drive system is operable to: selectively move the pipettor shaft laterally relative to the interlock structure to engage the pipettor shaft with the interlock structure to secure the lab member to the pipetting module; move the pipetting module to transport the lab member secured thereto; and selectively move the pipettor shaft laterally relative to the interlock structure to disengage the pipettor shaft from the interlock structure to thereby release the lab member.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 7, 2015
    Assignee: PerkinElmer Health Sciences, Inc.
    Inventors: Eugene S. Maslana, Karen A. McElroy, Dennis F. Malkowski, James W. Sim
  • Patent number: 9063103
    Abstract: It is described a conveyor of specimen containers (9) supported by carriers (8) in laboratory automation systems comprising at least one analyzer (10, 50, 60). Said conveyor comprising a main transport unit (2), at least one spur transport unit (4-5, 7) allowing the positioning of the specimen container (9) inside said at least one analyzer (10, 50, 60) without removing said specimen container (9) from its carrier (8).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 10, 2006
    Date of Patent: June 23, 2015
    Assignee: INPECO HOLDING LTD.
    Inventor: Gianandrea Pedrazzini