|Publication number||US3792699 A|
|Publication date||19 Feb 1974|
|Filing date||30 May 1972|
|Priority date||30 May 1972|
|Also published as||CA990020A1, DE2358528A1|
|Publication number||US 3792699 A, US 3792699A, US-A-3792699, US3792699 A, US3792699A|
|Inventors||R Tobin, C Waldbillig|
|Original Assignee||Medex Inc|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (6), Referenced by (79), Classifications (20)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
[4 1 Feb. 19, 11974 United States Patent [191 Tobin et al.
128/269 Heimlich....,....................i... 128/269 W 2 oo 2 1 Jinkens et am m HS cs 3 BM 0077 6536 9999 HUN 0586 645 00455 4 04 0392 3223 S ;m 6 mm m b m M T n d l-l N w U W B A BC w m w 1 S ar na E 0h .LRC M m 0 m P n S e I v D.m M 5 5 7 Primary Examiner-Kyle L. Howell Attorney, Agent, or FirmWood, ll-lerron & Evans  ABSTRACT A swab unit comprising an enclosure, a cap for the enclosure, a hollow stemmed swab secured to the cap both of Ohio Assignee: Medex, Inc., Hilliard, Ohio Filed:
 May 30, 1972  App]. No.2 257,850
 US. 128/2 W, 128/269, 195/103.5 R 5 Int Cl 1 1 00 and in communication with a flexible walled housing 12 2 w 2 B, 2 F, 2 9; mounted on the cap. A frangible liquid filled ampoule is located in the housing. Upon squeezing of the flexi-  Field of ble walls of the housing, the ampoule is broken, per- 5 References Cited mitting the liquid to flow through the hollow stem of UNITED STATES PATENTS the swab to moisten absorbent material secured to the end of the swab. 3,163,160 12/1964 128/2 W 3,450,129 6/1969 Avery et al. 128/2 W 6 Claims, 2 Drawing Figures DISPOSABLE SWAB UNIT This invention relates to a disposable swab unit and particularly to a unit for taking a sample from a patients body and preserving that sample by moistening it with a transport medium until it can be applied as a smear to a slide for a microscope.
While the invention will be described as a unit for obtaining samples of a human body, it should be understood that the structure has other uses, such as applicators for medicaments or applicators for other mediums, such as shoe polish.
In taking samples it has been common practice for the physician to remove a swab from a sterile package, take a sample from a patients body with the swab, insert the swab into a container holding a transport medium and break off the swab stick, thereby minimizing the possibility of contaminates from the physicians hands of being introduced into the transport medium. The container and remaining portion of the swab unit are sealed and sent to a laboratory for analysis.
That procedure has a number of disadvantages which the present invention eliminates. The two packages, swab and vial, are expensive. The swab stick must be handled by the physician, thereby introducing the possibility of contaminating the transport medium. A wooden stick, which must be used in order to break it off into the medium container, has several disadvantages. The wood dries out and becomes brittle and can result in jabbing a patients throat, and the wood itself could contain a fungus which, if released in the transport medium, will contaminate it and botch the test to be run on the sample.
To avoid the disadvantages referred to above, attempts have been made to provide disposable swab units wherein the transport medium is contained within the unit. One such unit consists of a two section tube having a swab in one section and a supply of transport medium in the other section with a slitted valve between the two sections, does not appear to have enjoyed any success in the marketplace probably because of the cost of manufacturing it. Another unit consists of a flexible tube having a frangible ampoule in one end, absorbent material adjacent the ampoule and a swab disposed in contact with the absorbent material. In use of the latter unit a sample is taken with the swab, the swab is inserted into the flexible walled container and the area containing the ampoule is squeezed to break the ampoule. The medium contacts the absorbent material which then moistens the tip of the swab in contact with the absorbent material.
The present invention provides an improvement over the unit described above in two major respects. First, the physician is never required to touch the swab stem and thus the possibility of introducing contaminates is greatly minimized. Second, the swab tip is moistened directly rather thanthrough an intermediate absorbent material, thereby providing greater assurance of the moistening of the swab tip.
To attain these advantages, the invention provides a cap for an enclosure, the cap carrying a hollow stemmed swab and a flexible walled housing in communication with the swab stem. A frangible, medium containing, ampoule is mounted in the housing. With this unit, a sample is taken with the physician holding only the cap and not touching the swab stick. After the sample is taken, the physician squeezes the housing to fracture the ampoule. The squeezing of the housing and even repeated squeezing of the housing pumps the medium down the swab stem into contact with the absorbent material in the swab tip.
The invention has a number of advantages. It is economical to manufacture and, hence, economical for the physician in that, except for the cap and flexible housing, it is made of standard components. The cap and housing are easily molded and assembled.
Because the swab is securely mounted in the cap, the swab and stem need not be touched by the physician, for the physician performs all operations by gripping the cap and/or flexible housing. Further, the swab stem is a plastic tube which does not sufier from any of the disadvantages of the wood swab stem discussed above. The device is easily handled by the physician in that the liquid medium and swab are contained in one unit so that the physician does not have to open another package to moisten the swab.
The cap has a sealed relationship to the enclosure for the swab which keeps the transport medium in a liquid condition for a week or more which is ample time for submission to a laboratory for the running of tests.
The structure admits of the use of the two-position cap of U.S. Pat. No. 3,004,681. That cap, in one position, admits gas to the interior of the swab enclosure enabling it to be sterilized as by ethylene oxide gas. Also, in that position the pumping action to drive the liquid medium down the stem is not impeded by the high pressure of a sealed container. In the second position, the enclosure is sealed to keep the transport medium from evaporating.
The several features and objectives of the invention will become more readily apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings in which:
FIG. 1 is a cross-sectional view of the device; and
FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view partly in elevation of an alternative embodiment.
The unit is indicated at 10 and includes a swab 11 mounted in a cap 12, the cap 12 normally being mounted on an enclosure 13. The upper end of the cap 12 has a flexible wall sealed housing 14 secured to it, the housing 14 containing an ampoule 15 within which a transport medium 16 is carried.
The swab l 1 has a hollow stem 20 whose internal diameter is, in the illustrated embodiment, approximately 0.055 inch. The swab stem may be made of any suitable plastic, for example, polyethylene or polystyrene. The free end of the swab stem has an absorbent material 21 of known type as, for example, cotton fibers, although rayon or plastic are preferred in that the plastic fibers have no inhbiting characteristics. The absorbent fibers 21 are attached to the end of the swab in a conventional manner.
The other end 22 of the swab is press fitted into a socket 23 which is integral with a top wall 24 of the cap 12. The socket is, of course, hollow and is in communication with a port 25 in the top wall of the cap. The flexible walled housing 14 is mounted on the top surface 26 of the cap 12 surrounding the port 25 so as to be in communication with the port. The housing 14 may be made of any suitable plastic materials as, for example, a low density polyethylene which is thin enough to be relatively easily compressed by the physician. The walls also should have enough resiliency in order to return to their original position upon release of pressure so as to enable the physician to impart a pumping action to the housing where that is desired to drive the liquid medium down the swab stem. The housing is sealed to the surface 26 of the top wall of the cap by means of an annular flange 27, the joint between the flange 27 and the surface 26 being made simply by raising the temperature of the respective surfaces until they are slightly fused and then holding them together. Alternatively, the housing and cap could be molded integrally with the top of the housing left open. Upon insertion of the ampoule, the top of the cap could then be closed and sealed.
The ampoule has a glass wall of about 0.010 0.0l5 inch thickness which, due to its thinness, is known in the trade as onion skin. It is easily broken by squeezing on the housing 14. It contains a known transport medium such as Stuarts transport medium. The transport medium has many formulations, none of which forms a part of the present invention.
The enclosure 13 functions simply as a sheet around the swab to keep it in a sterile condition. The amount of medium in the ampoule is preferably between onehalf and 1 ml., being only sufficient to moisten the swab and thus there is no requirement for the enclosure 13 to hold the medium. The enclosure 13 is of a test tube configuration preferably being formed of clear polystyrene. It is closed at one end 30 and has an open end 31. An annular bead 32 is formed around the open end, the bead 32 being engageable by the interior surface of the cap 12.
The cap 12 is formed generally as disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,004,681 to provide two stages of application to the open end of the enclosure 13. The first stage is indicated at 34 and has at its lower end an annular bead 35 with a flared opening 36 to facilitate the introduction of the container into the cap. The bead has two diametrically opposed, axially extending slots 37 to assure passage of gas past the bead. An annular groove 39 is located adjacent the bead, the annular groove being slightly larger than the diameter of the bead 32 so as to provide a slop fit between the two. The slot 37 extends the axial length of the groove 39. The axial length of the groove 39 is approximately twice that of I the bead.
Above the groove 39 is a sealing groove 41 defined by an internal bead 42 and a shoulder 43. The relationship between the diameter of the enclosure bead 32 and the diameter of the groove 41 is such as to assure a press fit between the two when the cap is fully placed onto the enclosure 13 as shown in FIG. 1. While the cap as described above is preferred, it is to be understood that a slip fit cap or a screw cap can also be used.
The alternative embodiment of FIG. 2 is substantially identical to that of FIG. 1 except for the fact that the embodiment of FIG. 2 utilizes two ports 45 in the top wall of the cap, two sockets 46 and two hollow stem swabs 47. In the alternative embodiment, a somewhat larger supply of medium may be required in order to moisten both swabs. The two absorbent tips of the swabs are in contact with each other so as to. permit wicking of the liquid from one to the other to enable them to be equally moistened even in the event that more liquid goes down one swab stern than the other.
In the operation of the invention, the sterilized swab is removed from the enclosure 13 by the physician simply by pulling the cap off the enclosure. A sample is taken from the patient and the swab is reinserted into the enclosure 13 with the cap being placed upon the bead 32 until the bead resides in the large annular groove 39. The physician immediately squeezes the housing 14 to break the wall of the ampoule 15, thereby permitting the liquid medium to flow through the port 25 down the hollow stem 20 and into contact with the absorbent tip 21. Movement of the medium down the stem can be encouraged by applying a repeated squeezing to the housing 14 which pumps the fluid down the stem. When in contact with the tip, the fluid disperses itself throughout the tip through a wicking action, thereby completely moistening the tip. Thereafter, the cap is fully applied to the bead 32 until it has a tight fitting relationship with the annular sealing groove 41. In this condition, the transport medium will stay liquid for a long period of time, thereby keeping the sample moist until it can be processed in the lab.
While the invention has been described as utilizing a frangible glass ampoule in the housing, it should be understood that the invention also embraces other means for confining a liquid in the housing to block the flow of liquid through the port and into the swab until it is time to use the swab. For example, a rupturable capsule of liquid contained in a plastic film could be employed instead of the frangible ampoule. Alternatively, the liquid could be confined in the housing by a rupturable membrane disposed between the housing and the port. Still further, some type of inexpensive valve in the port could be employed, the valve being openable either upon squeezing the housing or upon manipulation by the user.
1. A swab unit comprising,
an enclosure having an open end,
a cap mounted on the open end of said enclosure,
a port in said cap,
a hollow stemmed swab mounted in said port and extending from one face of said cap,
a flexible walled housing mounted on the opposite face said cap and surrounding said port,
a rupturable ampoule containing a liquid and mounted in said housing,
whereby squeezing said housing will break open said ampoule and permit said liquid to flow through said port and through the stem of said swab.
2. A unit as in claim 1 further comprising at least one socket integral with said cap and extending from said port toward said enclosure,
said swab stem being fitted into said socket.
3. A unit as in claim 1 in which said enclosure has a circular bead at its open end,
said cap having a generally cylindrical interior surface adapted to receive said bead,
said surface having an outward portion which loosely receives said bead to permit air flow into said enclosure,
and said surface having an inward portion forming an airtight fitting relation with said bead.
4. A unit as in claim 1 in which two ports are provided in said cap and two hollow stemmed swabs are mounted in said ports.
5. A disposable swab unit comprising,
an elongated, generally cylindrical enclosure which is closed at one end and open at the other,
a cap mounted on the open end of said enclosure,
said cap having a top wall and port in said wall,
a cap mounted on the open end of said enclosure,
a port in said cap,
a hollow stemmed swab mounted in said port and extending from one face of said cap,
a flexible walled housing mounted on the opposite face of said cap and surrounding said port,
a liquid in said housing,
means temporarily confining the liquid in said housing to block flow of said liquid into said port and swab,
whereby upon removal of said blocking means, liquid can be caused to flow through said port and through the stem of said swab.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US2090354 *||14 May 1936||17 Aug 1937||Massman Abraham E||Combined medicine dropper and swab|
|US2835246 *||22 Dec 1954||20 May 1958||Paul Boettger||Handling medical specimens|
|US3004681 *||18 Sep 1959||17 Oct 1961||Craig Waldbillig Charles||Two position cap|
|US3163160 *||15 Nov 1962||29 Dec 1964||Milton J Cohen||Disposable swab and culture medium device|
|US3324855 *||12 Jan 1965||13 Jun 1967||Heimlich Henry J||Surgical sponge stick|
|US3450129 *||6 Jul 1966||17 Jun 1969||Medical Supply Co||Swabbing unit|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US3913564 *||24 Apr 1974||21 Oct 1975||Richard C Freshley||Anaerobic specimen collecting and transporting device|
|US3918435 *||24 Jan 1974||11 Nov 1975||Miles Lab||Transport swab tube|
|US3938898 *||5 Apr 1974||17 Feb 1976||Jack Reitknecht||Swab applicator with adapter chuck and closure|
|US4465078 *||30 Sep 1982||14 Aug 1984||Medtest Corporation||Method for cell sampling in a body cavity|
|US4572689 *||28 Mar 1983||25 Feb 1986||Chernack Milton P||Disposable applicator|
|US4578055 *||26 Apr 1984||25 Mar 1986||Fischer Dan E||Controlled diffusion medicament applicator|
|US4625741 *||23 Aug 1984||2 Dec 1986||David Gardiner||Nail polisher|
|US4707450 *||25 Sep 1986||17 Nov 1987||Nason Frederic L||Specimen collection and test unit|
|US4747719 *||28 Jul 1986||31 May 1988||Cole Parkin||Swab applicator|
|US4788985 *||10 Nov 1987||6 Dec 1988||Medtest Corporation||Device for cell sampling in a body cavity|
|US4978504 *||9 Feb 1988||18 Dec 1990||Nason Frederic L||Specimen test unit|
|US4997371 *||22 Jun 1988||5 Mar 1991||Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki Kaisha||Dental agent applicator|
|US5078968 *||10 Dec 1990||7 Jan 1992||Nason Frederic L||Specimen test unit|
|US5238649 *||25 Nov 1991||24 Aug 1993||Nason Frederic L||Specimen test unit|
|US5246371 *||1 Sep 1992||21 Sep 1993||Ultradent Products, Inc.||Method and apparatus for delivery of highly filled, thixotropic sealant to teeth|
|US5250412 *||16 Jul 1991||5 Oct 1993||Diamedix Corporation||Swab device and method for collecting and analyzing a sample|
|US5266266 *||19 Dec 1991||30 Nov 1993||Nason Frederic L||Specimen test unit|
|US5269684 *||31 Aug 1992||14 Dec 1993||Ultradent Products, Inc.||Adjustable brush delivery tip with secondary flow path|
|US5445462 *||18 Apr 1994||29 Aug 1995||Medi-Flex Hospital Products, Inc.||Liquid applicator|
|US5869003 *||15 Apr 1998||9 Feb 1999||Nason; Frederic L.||Self contained diagnostic test unit|
|US5879635 *||31 Mar 1997||9 Mar 1999||Nason; Frederic L.||Reagent dispenser and related test kit for biological specimens|
|US6013036 *||4 May 1998||11 Jan 2000||Caillouette; James C.||Vaginal multiple condition detection apparatus and method|
|US6039488 *||25 Jun 1998||21 Mar 2000||Louisiana Bucks Unlimited, L.L.C.||Breakable ampule, swab and cap for scent material|
|US6063038 *||9 Apr 1999||16 May 2000||Clmp, Inc.||Devices and methods for collecting fecal antigen specimens|
|US6083002 *||4 Feb 1999||4 Jul 2000||3M Innovative Properties Co.||Cartridge for dispensing liquid compositions|
|US6095813 *||14 Jun 1999||1 Aug 2000||3M Innovative Properties Company||Method for applying a dental composition to tooth structure|
|US6117090 *||17 Jul 1998||12 Sep 2000||Caillouette; James C.||Method and apparatus for detecting amine producing organisms in the vagina|
|US6283933||23 Dec 1998||4 Sep 2001||Closure Medical Corporation||Applicator for dispensable liquids|
|US6379342 *||2 Apr 1999||30 Apr 2002||Scion International, Inc.||Ampoule for dispensing medication and method of use|
|US6390991||27 Nov 2000||21 May 2002||James C. Caillouette||Vaginal moisture test apparatus and method|
|US6402705||8 Nov 1999||11 Jun 2002||James C. Caillouette||Body moisture test apparatus and method|
|US6406441||7 Feb 2000||18 Jun 2002||James C. Caillouette||Vaginal test apparatus and method|
|US6413087||24 Feb 2000||2 Jul 2002||3M Innovative Properties Company||Packaged applicator assembly|
|US6503013||11 Oct 2001||7 Jan 2003||Pedinol Pharmacal Inc.||Method for applying a medicament and swab applicator for use therewith|
|US6551834||2 Feb 2001||22 Apr 2003||Biocontrol Systems, Inc.||Detection of contaminants using self-contained devices employing target material binding dyes|
|US6595940||29 Oct 1999||22 Jul 2003||Closure Medical Corporation||Applicator for dispensable liquids|
|US6673031||25 Sep 2001||6 Jan 2004||Phillip Mark||Liquid applicator|
|US6863866||4 Jun 2001||8 Mar 2005||Biocontrol Systems, Inc.||Self-contained devices for detecting biological contaminants|
|US6869804 *||27 Apr 1999||22 Mar 2005||Enterix Pty Limited||Sample collection method|
|US7022289 *||10 Oct 2001||4 Apr 2006||The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The Army||Chemical and biological sampling device and kit and method of use thereof|
|US7098040||23 Dec 2003||29 Aug 2006||Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.||Self-contained swab-based diagnostic systems|
|US7101342||24 May 2004||5 Sep 2006||Caillouette James C||Detection of menopause status and treatment thereof|
|US7261701||3 Oct 2002||28 Aug 2007||3M Innovative Properties Co.||Skin antiseptic composition dispenser and methods of use|
|US7344506 *||20 Mar 2007||18 Mar 2008||Cytyc Corporation||Cell collection device|
|US7393694 *||26 Oct 2005||1 Jul 2008||The United States Of America As Represented By The Secretary Of The Army||Chemical and biological sampling device and kit and method of use thereof|
|US7441973 *||20 Oct 2006||28 Oct 2008||Ethicon Endo-Surgery, Inc.||Adhesive applicator|
|US7863053||23 Dec 2003||4 Jan 2011||Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.||Swab-based diagnostic systems|
|US8105306||8 Apr 2004||31 Jan 2012||3M Innovative Properties Company||Skin antiseptic composition dispenser and methods of use|
|US8118766||9 Aug 2007||21 Feb 2012||3M Innovative Properties Company||Skin antiseptic composition dispenser and methods of use|
|US8389287||10 Apr 2006||5 Mar 2013||Enterix Pty Limited||Sample collection method|
|US8677843||10 Feb 2009||25 Mar 2014||3M Innovative Properties Company||Sample acquisition device|
|US8740831 *||14 Dec 2004||3 Jun 2014||Longood Medicine (Jiangsu) Co., Ltd.||Wiper and the preparing method thereof|
|US8979784||30 Jan 2012||17 Mar 2015||Copan Italia S.P.A.||Swab for collecting biological specimens|
|US9011358||25 Jun 2012||21 Apr 2015||Copan Italia S.P.A.||Swab for collecting biological specimens|
|US20020136665 *||21 Feb 2002||26 Sep 2002||Hayton Anthony John||Swab assembly|
|US20040068218 *||3 Oct 2002||8 Apr 2004||3M Innovative Properties Company Office Of Intellectual Property Counsel||Skin antiseptic composition dispenser and methods of use|
|US20040116824 *||1 Oct 2003||17 Jun 2004||L'oreal||Evaluation or diagnostic kit|
|US20040158188 *||1 Oct 2003||12 Aug 2004||L'oreal||Analyte-taking device|
|US20040170536 *||5 Mar 2002||2 Sep 2004||Victory Daykin||Biological specimen collection apparatus|
|US20040180427 *||2 Mar 2004||16 Sep 2004||Mao-Kuei Chang||Dually operating medical apparatus for safe sampling and inoculation|
|US20040267182 *||8 Apr 2004||30 Dec 2004||3M Innovative Properties Company||Skin antiseptic composition dispenser and methods of use|
|US20050136479 *||23 Dec 2003||23 Jun 2005||Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.||Swab-based diagnostic systems|
|US20050136553 *||23 Dec 2003||23 Jun 2005||Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc.||Self-contained swab-based diagnostic systems|
|US20050175786 *||21 Jan 2005||11 Aug 2005||Singh Brij P.||Surface treatment applicator/dispenser|
|US20050181518 *||24 Jan 2005||18 Aug 2005||Enterix Pty Limited||Sample collection method|
|US20050196431 *||2 May 2005||8 Sep 2005||Upvan Narang||Adhesive applicator tip with a polymerization initiator, polymerization rate modifier, and/or bioactive material|
|US20060020238 *||21 Jul 2004||26 Jan 2006||Garry Tsaur||Applicator with interchangeable inserts|
|US20110066172 *||10 Sep 2010||17 Mar 2011||Herbert Silverstein||Ear cleaning system and method|
|US20130324948 *||11 Mar 2013||5 Dec 2013||Robert J. Baschnagel||Cotton balls, cotton swabs and cotton swab holder|
|US20140106445 *||13 Dec 2013||17 Apr 2014||Copan Italia S.P.A.||Method for quantitative transfer of analytes|
|CN100443384C||11 Jun 2004||17 Dec 2008||曹荣华||Housing for enclosed applicator|
|WO1984003862A1 *||6 Mar 1984||11 Oct 1984||Milton P Chernack||Disposable applicator|
|WO1993012421A1 *||18 Dec 1992||24 Jun 1993||Nason Frederic L||Specimen test unit|
|WO2000009016A1||6 Aug 1999||24 Feb 2000||Idexx Lab Inc||Detection of contaminants using self-contained devices employing target material binding dyes|
|WO2000038777A1 *||22 Dec 1999||6 Jul 2000||Closure Medical Corp||Applicator for dispensable liquids|
|WO2004033020A2 *||5 Sep 2003||22 Apr 2004||3M Innovative Properties Co||Skin antiseptic composition dispenser and methods of use|
|WO2005016439A1 *||25 Jul 2003||24 Feb 2005||Tsaur Garry||Enclosed applicator|
|WO2005068969A1 *||9 Aug 2004||28 Jul 2005||Kimberly Clark Co||Self-contained swab-based diagnostic systems|
|WO2008122908A1 *||31 Mar 2008||16 Oct 2008||Koninkl Philips Electronics Nv||Method and device for gathering a fluid sample for screening purposes|
|U.S. Classification||600/572, 401/133, 604/2, 401/198, 401/202|
|International Classification||C12M1/24, A61F13/38, G01N1/02, A61B10/02, A61B10/00, A61F13/40|
|Cooperative Classification||A61M35/006, A61B10/02, G01N2001/028, A61F13/38, A61B10/0096|
|European Classification||A61B10/02, A61M35/00B2, A61B10/00S, A61F13/38|