(19)
(11)EP 3 200 922 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
06.05.2020 Bulletin 2020/19

(21)Application number: 15847932.9

(22)Date of filing:  30.09.2015
(51)Int. Cl.: 
B01L 3/00  (2006.01)
A61B 90/90  (2016.01)
B01L 9/00  (2006.01)
A61B 10/00  (2006.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2015/053296
(87)International publication number:
WO 2016/054252 (07.04.2016 Gazette  2016/14)

(54)

APPARATUSES, METHODS, AND SYSTEMS FOR SAMPLE COLLECTION AND DISPERSION

VORRICHTUNGEN, VERFAHREN UND SYSTEME ZUR PROBENENTNAHME UND DISPERSION

APPAREILS, PROCÉDÉS ET SYSTÈMES POUR LA COLLECTE ET LA DISPERSION D'ÉCHANTILLON


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(30)Priority: 30.09.2014 US 201462057575 P

(43)Date of publication of application:
09.08.2017 Bulletin 2017/32

(73)Proprietor: Exosome Diagnostics, Inc.
Waltham, MA 02451 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • SKOG, Johan
    Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129 (US)
  • TISEL, Bill
    Chaska, Minnesota 55318 (US)
  • BAKER, Joseph
    Fallbrook, California 92028 (US)

(74)Representative: Cooley (UK) LLP 
Dashwood 69 Old Broad Street
London EC2M 1QS
London EC2M 1QS (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
WO-A1-2005/014173
WO-A1-2010/036895
CA-A1- 2 181 305
DE-A1-102011 000 645
US-A- 5 454 958
US-A1- 2004 267 159
US-A1- 2010 140 182
US-B1- 8 747 669
WO-A1-2009/117212
WO-A2-2007/149379
DE-A1- 4 132 480
US-A- 4 961 432
US-A1- 2003 021 727
US-A1- 2010 140 182
US-A1- 2014 213 934
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    BACKGROUND



    [0001] Conventional sample collection containers often collect samples in a single compartment of the container, and do not allow for separation of parts of the sample (e.g., to separate a first volume of the sample from the rest of the sample, to separate components of the sample, and/or the like). However, the first 20-40 mL and/or like quantity of a sample may contain the largest quantity of components of interest in the sample (e.g., for a urine sample, the first 25 mL of urine may contain the greatest concentration of hormones, exosomal RNA prostate cancer markers, and/or the like). Thus, such container designs can dilute the sample and make it difficult for laboratories to test the samples for abnormalities. Merely reducing the size of the container to 25 mL may be both cumbersome to a patient who must supply the sample, and may waste portions of the sample which could be used to test other ailments, e.g., the 26-40mL of a urine sample left after the first volume of the sample may still be optimal for assessment of other illnesses such as bladder cancer and/or other disorders, even if it is not optimal for testing other ailments. Additionally, conventional sample collection containers often need to be shipped long distances in order to be analyzed at a laboratory, and can leak or spill, causing part of the sample to be lost in transit.

    [0002] US 2004/267159 A1 discloses a dual-chamber device for receiving and containing a liquid, particularly urine, having a generally cylindrical body having a detachable top cover and an internal transverse, funnel-shaped wall.

    SUMMARY OF SOME OF THE EMBODIMENTS



    [0003] In a first aspect of the invention, there is provided a sample collection container apparatus, comprising: a lower collection cup of a sample collection container, the lower collection cup configured to collect a first volume of a sample; a float device configured to seal the lower collection cup of the sample collection container when the lower collection cup has been filled with the first volume of the sample; an upper collection cup of the sample collection container configured to be attachable to the lower collection cup, the upper collection cup of the sample collection container configured to collect a second volume of the sample; and a top cap configured to seal the first volume area of the sample collection container from the second volume area of the sample collection container.

    [0004] In a second aspect of the invention, there is provided a method for separating portions of a sample, comprising: providing a sample collection container apparatus; receiving a sample into a first area of the sample collection container; collecting a first portion of the sample in a second area of the sample collection container; sealing the second area of the sample collection container via a float device when the second area of the sample collection container has collected the first portion of the sample; and collecting a second portion of the sample in the first area of the sample collection container.

    [0005] Preferred embodiments of the invention in any of its various aspects are as described below or as defined in the sub claims.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES



    [0006] 

    FIGURE 1 shows a bottom-cap design for a sample collection container.

    FIGURE 2 shows a bottom-cap design for a sample collection container.

    FIGURE 3 shows volume markings for a sample collection container.

    FIGURE 4 shows a top cap for a sample collection container.

    FIGURE 5 shows a float design for a sample collection container.

    FIGURE 6 shows a float design for a sample collection container.

    FIGURE 7 shows a bottom cap design for a sample collection container.

    FIGURE 8 shows filling a sample collection container.

    FIGURE 9 shows a cap seal design for a sample collection container.

    FIGURE 10 shows a cap seal design for a sample collection container.

    FIGURE 11 shows a cap seal design for a sample collection container.

    FIGURE 12 shows extracting samples from a sample collection container.

    FIGURE 13 shows volume areas in a sample collection container.

    FIGURE 14 shows a two-cup design for a sample collection container.

    FIGURE 15 shows a two-cap design for a sample collection container.

    FIGURE 16 shows an assembled two-cap design for a sample collection container.

    FIGURE 17 shows a seal design for a sample collection container.

    FIGURE 18 shows a cap seal design for a sample collection container.

    FIGURE 19 shows seal area thickness for a sample collection container.

    FIGURE 20 shows designs for a sample collection container.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF SOME OF THE EMBODIMENTS



    [0007] Sample collection containers may be formed via a bottom-cap design, a two-cup design, and/or the like. Referring to FIGURE 1, a laboratory may use a bottom-cap design 102 for the sample collection container. The container may comprise a dual-seal top cap 104, a single molded collection cup 106, a float device 108, and a screw-on bottom cap 110. The collection container may also have room for a label 112 on which sample identification information (e.g., the name of the patient, the date and time the sample was obtained, the type of sample obtained, and/or the like) may be imprinted. Referring to FIGURE 2, an exemplary sample collection container may include a dual-start thread at the top of the container 202, e.g., for easy removal and placement of the top lid by a patient. The bottom cap 206 may be placed on the sample collection container on a single-start thread. The container may further comprise ribs on the sides of the container 204, e.g., to help a patient grip the container. Each section of the container may have a sealing rib 208, which may help seal the portion of the container and prevent spills (e.g., sealing rib 208 may prevent the sample from spilling out of the top lid, and sealing rib 210 may prevent the sample in the second volume from contaminating the sample collected in the first volume, and/or the like). Referring to FIGURE 3, the container may also comprise volumetric markings 302 and company logos 304, and/or like information.

    [0008] FIGURE 4 shows a top cap for a sample collection container. For example, a top cap 402 may comprise a screw cap with grip ridges, and a cap stop 404, e.g., to secure the cap and prevent the cap from turning too much in a particular direction. The cap may further comprise a long protrusion from the screw cap component, which may connect with the opening of the first volume of the container, and/or the like.The cap may comprise at least two seals. For example, the cap may comprise a first volume seal 406 which may seal the opening of the first seal via connecting with sealing rib 210 in order to prevent leaking between the first and second volumes. The cap may further comprise a second volume seal 408 between the cap and the top of the container. The second volume seal and the cap may comprise round threads.

    [0009] FIGURES 5 and 6 show float designs for a sample collection container. A float 502 may be a device and/or mechanism for preventing fluid flow between a first and second volume of the collection container when the first volume has filled, and may allow for extration of the sample from the bottom cap with minimized contamination of the sample. The float may also prevent fluid from flowing into the first volume after the first volume has been filled. For example, a float may comprise food grade PE foam with a density of 32 mg/cm^3 (2.0 lb/cu. ft), and may have a thickness of 9.53 mm (0.375 inches). A float may have fluid pass-through holes 506 through which the sample may flow through until the first volume area has been filled, and/or fluid access cutouts 504 that laboratories may use to extract sample from the first volume (e.g., via a syringe and/or the like). The access cutouts and holes may be spaced such that the channel between the first and second volumes connects with the solid portion of the float when the container is filled, and such that the cutouts and holes cannot be aligned with the channel and allow sample in the second volume to contaminate the sample in the second volume. A float 602 may not comprise any fluid access cutouts, and may instead comprise only pass-through holes 604, and/or the like. After the top cap has sealed the first volume from the second volume, the container may be inverted, allowing the float to float towards the bottom cap of the container 508. Thus by inverting the container, a laboratory device and/or the like may be able to extract sample from the first volume via the holes and/or cutouts in the float.

    [0010] FIGURE 7 shows a bottom cap design for a sample collection container. The bottom cap 702 may have a 53-400 cap and single thread specification, and may be made out of polypropylene. The cap may comprise a core liner 704 comprising a layer of LDPE film, a layer of PE foam, and a layer of LDPE film, and/or a like composition). The bottom cap may sit flush to the rub bottoms on the container 706, and may maintain the outer diameter of the ribs. The seal on the bottom cap may create a container seal by compressing a flexible polyethylene membrane on the inside of the cap, and/or a similar mechanism.

    [0011] FIGURE 8 shows filling a sample collection container. A patient may be able to start filling the cup with their sample (e.g., a urine sample), which may first collect in a dead volume area above the first volume chamber (e.g., the lower volume chamber) 802. The dead volume area may be able to hold 0.8mL of sample, and/or the like. There may not be a dead volume area, and the sample may immediately start to collect in the lower volume chamber. As the lower chamber fills with sample 804, the float may be able to rise, eventually being able to close off the lower chamber from the upper chamber. The lower volume chamber may be able to hold a volume (e.g., 20-25mL, and/or any volume from, for example, 5mL-40 mL, and/or the like) of sample, and/or a like amount. After the lower chamber has been filled, the upper chamber may still be filled 806; the upper chamber may be able to hold 95 mL of sample, and/or a like amount. After the sample cup has been filled (e.g., at the top volumetric line on the container, and/or the like), the top cap may be placed on the container 808. The top cap may displace some volume of the sample as it closes (e.g., the cap may displace approximately 15 mL of the sample, causing the fluid in the container to raise 4.32 mm (0.17 inches), and/or the like).

    [0012] FIGURE 9 shows a top cap seal design for a sample collection container. For example, the top cap may comprise a lower seal 904 which may seal the lower volume chamber from the upper volume chamber. The bottom seal may start engagement with the sealing rib of the first volume 906 before the top seal has been engaged 908. This may start at 1.5 mm (0.06 inches) from the end of the travel. The top seal 902 may seal the top of the sample collection container, and may start to engage at the end of the travel at the top of the container 910, e.g., at 0.03 inches from the end of the travel, and/or the like. The cap may be rotated along the thread of the container until the cap stop on the top cap connects with a clasp 912 on the container, preventing further rotation and securing the top cap in place. The lower and upper volumes of the sample may be pressurized to exemplary pressures of 56.5 mbar (0.8 PSIG) and 75.8 mbar (1.1 PSIG), respectively, when the top cap is fully closed on the container. Referring to FIGURE 10, the top cap may fit snugly along the thread of the top portion of the container 1002. The top seal may have a nominal interference of aproximately 0.2 mm (0.008 inches) 1004, and the bottom seal may have a nominal interference of 0.25 mm (0.010 inches) 1006. Referring to FIGURE 11, the top seal may vary in its thickness due to interference by the container, e.g., by a factor of +/- 0.76 mm (+/- 0.003 inches), or may vary in depth, e.g., by a factor of +/- 0.51 mm (+/- 0.020 inches). Thus, for example, the thickness of the top seal could be 0.76 mm (0.003 inches) and the depth 0.28 mm (0.011 inches) 1102 or the thickness could be -0.76 mm (-0.003 inches) with a depth of 0.13 mm (0.005 inches) 1104. 0.36 mm (0.014 inches) of interference may be greater than nominal, and 0.051 mm (0.002 inches) of interference may be below nominal. Similarly, the bottom seal may also vary in thickness due to interference, e.g., by a factor of +/- 0.76 mm (+/-0.003 inches), or may vary in depth, e.g., by a factor of +/- 0.51 mm (+/- 0.02 inches). Thus, the thickness of the bottom seal could be 0.13 mm (0.005 iches) with a depth of 0.28 mm (0.011 inches) 1106 or could have a thickness of -0.025 mm (-0.001 inches) with a depth of 0.076 mm (0.003 inches) 1108.

    [0013] FIGURE 12 shows extracting samples from a sample collection container. The container may be inverted 1202 such that the bottom cap is facing upward, and the bottom cap may be removed from the container. The sample in the lower volume chamber may be removed 1204, e.g., using the fluid access cutouts and/or the pass-through holes in the float. As more of the sample is removed, the float may move to the bottom of the chamber 1206. Referring to FIGURE 13, the container may have dead volume areas in both the top and bottom chambers of the container 1302, e.g., of 0.77 mL below the sealing rim in the upper volume, and of 1.72 mL at the top of the lower volume. The upper and lower volumes may contain 95 mL and 25 mL of sample, respectively 1304.

    [0014] FIGURE 14 shows a two-cup design for a sample collection container. A two-cup design may include an upper (e.g., inner) collection cup container 1404a and a lower (e.g., outer) collection cup container 1404b, with no bottom cap. The a two-cup design for a collection container may hae a diameter of 66 mm (2.6 inches) and a height of 83.8 mm (3.3 inches) and/or like dimensions. The the top of the container may be closed with a dual-seal cap 1402, and a float device 1406 in the lower collection cup container. A seal 1408 may be used for sealing a syringe access hole in the lower collection cup. The seal may be foil, plastic, and/or a plurality of other materials. The outer surface of the collection container may not comprise any ribs, and may be smooth. Referring to FIGURE 15, the upper collection cup container 1502 may be detachable from the lower collection cup container 1508, and may have weld features 1504 which allow for the two cups to fit on top of each other. The lower collection cup may also have a float retaining mechanism 1506 designed to limit the movement of a float in the lower collection cup. The two cups may stack on top of each other 1510 and may lock into place in order to secure the cups together. The collection container components may be made of food grade polypropylene, and may have a thickness of approximately 1.5 mm (0.06 inches). Referring to FIGURE 16, the seal 1602 may be peelable from the bottom of the lower collection cup, e.g., in order to access the volume of the sample contained in the lower collection cup. The float 1604 may be able to move in the lower collection cup based on the volume of the sample contained in the lower collection cup, and/or may also have its movement limited by a float stop and/or retaining mechanism. Referring to FIGURE 17, the seal may comprise a push tab 1702 that the user may use to open and peel the seal from the lower collection cup.

    [0015] FIGURE 18 shows a cap seal design for a sample collection container. The top cap 1802 may comprise both a screw cap component and a protrusion from the screw cap component which may seal off a hole between the upper collection cup and the lower collection cup. The screw cap may comprise a top seal 1804 which may seal the top of the sample collection container, and a bottom seal 1806 which may seal the upper collection cup from the lower collection cup (e.g., to prevent dilution of the sample in the lower collection cup, and/or the like), e.g., by fitting together with an inner and outer boss surrounding a gap area between the upper collection cup and the lower collection cup. The bottom seal may comprise a rubber seal (e.g., an 0-ring and/or like device which may grip the ID of the boss of the upper collection cup). and/or stopper in order to help strengthen the seal between the collection cups. Referring to FIGURE 19, the bottom seal may be formed such that there is either a 0.025 mm (0.001 inch) deflection at 20 pounds 1902, or an 0.076 mm (0.003 inch) deflection at 20 pounds 1904, e.g., depending on the thickness of the protrusion affecting the bottom seal, and/or the like.

    [0016] FIGURE 20 shows designs for a sample collection container. For example, a sample collection container may comprise a single container with a cap on the bottom of the container 2002, a single container with a seal (e.g., a foil seal, and/or the like) which can be peeled off and/or punctured 2004, a container with a removeable cup on the bottom of the container 2006, and/or a container with a luer (e.g., a luer on the bottom of a bottom cap 2008, a luer on the bottom of the protrusion sealing off the lower volume of the collection container from the upper volume 2010, a luer on the side of a bottom cap 2012, and/or the like). FIGURE 17, in some embodiments, the seal may comprise a push tab 1702 that the user may use to open and peel the seal from the lower collection cup.

    [0017] FIGURE 18 shows a cap seal design for a sample collection container, according to some embodiments. In some embodiments, the top cap 1802 may comprise both a screw cap component and a protrusion from the screw cap component which may seal off a hole between the upper collection cup and the lower collection cup. The screw cap may comprise a top seal 1804 which may seal the top of the sample collection container, and a bottom seal 1806 which may seal the upper collection cup from the lower collection cup (e.g., to prevent dilution of the sample in the lower collection cup, and/or the like), e.g., by fitting together with an inner and outer boss surrounding a gap area between the upper collection cup and the lower collection cup. The bottom seal may comprise a rubber seal (e.g., an O-ring and/or like device which may grip the ID of the boss of the upper collection cup). and/or stopper in order to help strengthen the seal between the collection cups. Referring to FIGURE 19, the bottom seal may be formed such that there is either a 0.025 mm (0.001 inch) deflection at 20 pounds 1902, or an 0.076 mm (0.003 inch) deflection at 20 pounds 1904, e.g., depending on the thickness of the protrusion affecting the bottom seal, and/or the like.

    [0018] FIGURE 20 shows designs for a sample collection container, according to some embodiments. For example, a sample collection container may comprise a single container with a cap on the bottom of the container 2002, a single container with a seal (e.g., a foil seal, and/or the like) which can be peeled off and/or punctured 2004, a container with a removeable cup on the bottom of the container 2006, and/or a container with a luer (e.g., a luer on the bottom of a bottom cap 2008, a luer on the bottom of the protrusion sealing off the lower volume of the collection container from the upper volume 2010, a luer on the side of a bottom cap 2012, and/or the like).

    [0019] Any and all references to publications or other documents, including but not limited to, patents, patent applications, articles, webpages, books, etc., presented in the present application, are herein incorporated by reference in their entirety, except insofar as the subject matter may conflict with that of the embodiments of the present disclosure (in which case what is present herein shall prevail). The referenced items are provided solely for their disclosure prior to the filing date of the present application. Nothing herein is to be construed as an admission that any invention disclosed herein is not entitled to antedate such material by virtue of prior invention.

    [0020] Although example embodiments of the apparatuses, methods and systems have been described herein, other modifications to such embodiments are possible. These embodiments have been described for illustrative purposes only and are not limiting. Other embodiments are possible and are covered by the disclosure, which will be apparent from the teachings contained herein. Thus, the breadth and scope of the disclosure should not be limited by any of the above-described embodiments but should be defined only in accordance with claims supported by the present disclosure and their equivalents. In addition, any logic flow depicted in the above disclosure and/or accompanying figures may not require the particular order shown, or sequential order, to achieve desirable results. Moreover, embodiments of the subject disclosure may include methods, systems and devices which may further include any and all elements from any other disclosed methods, systems, and devices, including any and all elements corresponding to the collection of biological fluids. In other words, elements from one and/or another disclosed embodiment may be interchangeable with elements from other disclosed embodiments. In addition, one or more features/elements of disclosed embodiments may be removed and still result in patentable subject matter (and thus, resulting in yet more embodiments of the subject disclosure). Still further, some embodiments of the present disclosure may be distinguishable from the prior art for expressly not requiring one and/or another feature disclosed in the prior art (e.g., some embodiments may include negative limitations). Some of the embodiments disclosed herein are within the scope of at least some of the following exemplary claims of the numerous claims which are supported by the present disclosure which may be presented.


    Claims

    1. A sample collection container apparatus, comprising:

    a lower collection cup of a sample collection container (1404b), the lower collection cup (1404b) configured to collect a first volume of a sample;

    a float device (1406) configured to seal the lower collection cup of the sample collection container (1404b) when the lower collection cup (1404b) has been filled with the first volume of the sample;

    an upper collection cup of the sample collection container (1404a) configured to be attachable to the lower collection cup (1404b), the upper collection cup of the sample collection container (1404a) configured to collect a second volume of the sample; and characterized by further comprising

    a top cap (1402) configured to seal the first volume area of the sample collection container from the second volume area of the sample collection container.


     
    2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the sample is introduced to the upper collection cup (1404a), and wherein the upper collection cup (1404a) is configured to allow the first volume of the sample to flow into the lower collection cup (1404b).
     
    3. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the first volume of the sample is a first portion of the sample.
     
    4. The apparatus of claim 3, wherein the first portion of the sample is approximately the first 25 mL of the sample.
     
    5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the sample is introduced to the upper collection cup (1404a), and wherein the upper collection cup (1404a) is configured to allow the sample to flow into the lower collection cup (1404b).
     
    6. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the float device (1406) is configured to prevent the sample from flowing into the lower collection cup (1404b) when the lower collection cup (1404b) is filled with the first volume of the sample.
     
    7. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the second volume of the sample is approximately 95 mL.
     
    8. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the float (1406) includes fluid access cutouts configured to allow a sample extraction device to access the first volume of the sample.
     
    9. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the sample extraction device is a syringe.
     
    10. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the bottom of the lower collection cup (1404b) is sealed via a peelable seal.
     
    11. The apparatus of claim 10, wherein the peelable seal is a push-tab foil peelable seal.
     
    12. A method for separating portions of a sample, comprising:

    providing the sample collection container apparatus of any one of claims 1 to 11;

    receiving a sample into a first area of the sample collection container (1404a);

    collecting a first portion of the sample in a second area of the sample collection container (1404b);

    sealing the second area of the sample collection container (1404b) via a float device (1406) when the second area of the sample collection container (1404b) has collected the first portion of the sample; and

    collecting a second portion of the sample in the first area of the sample collection container (1404a).


     
    13. The method of claim 12, wherein the sample is a urine sample.
     
    14. The method of claim 12, wherein the sample collection container includes a gap between the first area of the sample collection container (1404a) and the second area of the sample collection container (1404b), such that the sample can flow from the first area of the sample collection container (1404a) to the second area of the sample collection container (1404b).
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Probensammelbehältervorrichtung, umfassend:

    einen unteren Sammelbecher eines Probensammelbehälters (1404b), wobei der untere Sammelbecher (1404b) dazu konfiguriert ist, ein erstes Volumen einer Probe zu sammeln;

    eine Schwimmervorrichtung (1406), die dazu konfiguriert ist, den unteren Sammelbecher des Probensammelbehälters (1404b) abzudichten, wenn der untere Sammelbecher (1404b) mit dem ersten Volumen der Probe gefüllt wurde;

    einen oberen Sammelbecher des Probensammelbehälters (1404a), der dazu konfiguriert ist, an dem unteren Sammelbecher (1404b) anbringbar zu sein, wobei der obere Sammelbecher des Probensammelbehälters (1404a) dazu konfiguriert ist, ein zweites Volumen der Probe zu sammeln; und gekennzeichnet durch weiterhin umfassend:
    einen oberen Deckel (1402), der dazu konfiguriert ist, den ersten Volumenbereich des Probensammelbehälters von dem zweiten Volumenbereich des Probensammelbehälters abzudichten.


     
    2. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Probe in den oberen Sammelbecher (1404a) eingebracht wird und wobei der obere Sammelbecher (1404a) dazu konfiguriert ist, dem ersten Volumen der Probe zu ermöglichen, in den unteren Sammelbecher (1404b) zu fließen.
     
    3. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, wobei das erste Volumen der Probe ein erster Teil der Probe ist.
     
    4. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 3, wobei es sich bei dem ersten Teil der Probe um ungefähr die ersten 25 mL der Probe handelt.
     
    5. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Probe in den oberen Sammelbecher (1404a) eingebracht wird und wobei der obere Sammelbecher (1404a) dazu konfiguriert ist, der Probe zu ermöglichen, in den unteren Sammelbecher (1404b) zu fließen.
     
    6. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 5, wobei die Schwimmervorrichtung (1406) dazu konfiguriert ist, die Probe daran zu hindern, in den unteren Sammelbecher (1404b) zu fließen, wenn der untere Sammelbecher (1404b) mit dem ersten Volumen der Probe gefüllt ist.
     
    7. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, wobei das zweite Volumen der Probe ungefähr 95 mL beträgt.
     
    8. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Schwimmer (1406) Fluidzugriffsaussparungen beinhaltet, die dazu konfiguriert sind, einer Probenextraktionsvorrichtung zu ermöglichen, auf das erste Volumen der Probe zuzugreifen.
     
    9. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 8, wobei die Probenextraktionsvorrichtung eine Spritze ist.
     
    10. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 1, wobei der Boden des unteren Sammelbechers (1404b) mittels einer abziehbaren Dichtung abgedichtet ist.
     
    11. Vorrichtung nach Anspruch 10, wobei die abziehbare Dichtung eine abziehbare Push-Tab-Foliendichtung ist.
     
    12. Verfahren zum Trennen von Teilen einer Probe, umfassend:

    Bereitstellen der Probensammelbehältervorrichtung nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 11;

    Aufnehmen einer Probe in einem ersten Bereich des Probensammelbehälters (1404a);

    Sammeln eines ersten Teils der Probe in einem zweiten Bereich des Probensammelbehälters (1404b);

    Abdichten des zweiten Bereichs des Probensammelbehälters (1404b) mittels einer Schwimmervorrichtung (1406), wenn der zweite Bereich des Probensammelbehälters (1404b) den ersten Teil der Probe gesammelt hat; und

    Sammeln eines zweiten Teils der Probe in einem ersten Bereich des Probensammelbehälters (1404a).


     
    13. Verfahren nach Anspruch 12, wobei die Probe eine Urinprobe ist.
     
    14. Verfahren nach Anspruch 12, wobei der Probensammelbehälter einen Spalt zwischen dem ersten Bereich des Probensammelbehälters (1404a) und dem zweiten Bereich des Probensammelbehälters (1404b) beinhaltet, so dass die Probe von dem ersten Bereich des Probensammelbehälters (1404a) zu dem zweiten Bereich des Probensammelbehälters (1404b) fließen kann.
     


    Revendications

    1. Appareil à récipient de collecte d'échantillon, comprenant :

    un gobelet de collecte inférieur d'un récipient de collecte d'échantillon (1404b), le gobelet de collecte inférieur (1404b) étant configuré pour collecter un premier volume d'un échantillon ;

    un dispositif flotteur (1406) configuré pour obturer le gobelet de collecte inférieur du récipient de collecte d'échantillon (1404b) lorsque le gobelet de collecte inférieur (1404b) a été rempli avec le premier volume de l'échantillon ;

    un gobelet de collecte supérieur du récipient de collecte d'échantillon (1404a) configuré pour pouvoir être fixé au gobelet de collecte inférieur (1404b), le gobelet de collecte supérieur du récipient de collecte d'échantillon (1404a) étant configuré pour collecter un deuxième volume de l'échantillon ; et caractérisé en ce qu'il comprend en outre

    un couvercle supérieur (1402) configuré pour obturer la zone du premier volume du récipient de collecte d'échantillon par rapport à la zone du deuxième volume du récipient de collecte d'échantillon.


     
    2. Appareil selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'échantillon est introduit dans le gobelet de collecte supérieur (1404a) et dans lequel le gobelet de collecte supérieur (1404a) est configuré pour permettre au premier volume de l'échantillon de s'écouler dans le gobelet de collecte inférieur (1404b).
     
    3. Appareil selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le premier volume de l'échantillon est une première portion de l'échantillon.
     
    4. Appareil selon la revendication 3, dans lequel la première portion de l'échantillon correspond approximativement aux premiers 25 ml de l'échantillon.
     
    5. Appareil selon la revendication 1, dans lequel l'échantillon est introduit dans le gobelet de collecte supérieur (1404a) et dans lequel le gobelet de collecte supérieur (1404a) est configuré pour permettre à l'échantillon de s'écouler dans le gobelet de collecte inférieur (1404b).
     
    6. Appareil selon la revendication 5, dans lequel le dispositif flotteur (1406) est configuré pour empêcher l'échantillon de s'écouler dans le gobelet de collecte inférieur (1404b) lorsque le gobelet de collecte inférieur (1404b) est rempli avec le premier volume de l'échantillon.
     
    7. Appareil selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le deuxième volume de l'échantillon est approximativement de 95 ml.
     
    8. Appareil selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le flotteur (1406) comporte des découpes d'accès au fluide configurées pour permettre à un dispositif d'extraction d'échantillon d'accéder au premier volume de l'échantillon.
     
    9. Appareil selon la revendication 8, dans lequel le dispositif d'extraction d'échantillon est une seringue.
     
    10. Appareil selon la revendication 1, dans lequel le fond du gobelet de collecte inférieur (1404b) est obturé au moyen d'un opercule pelable.
     
    11. Appareil selon la revendication 10, dans lequel l'opercule pelable est un opercule pelable défonçable en film.
     
    12. Procédé de séparation de portions d'un échantillon, comprenant :

    la mise à disposition de l'appareil à récipient de collecte d'échantillon selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 11 ;

    la réception d'un échantillon dans une première zone du récipient de collecte d'échantillon (1404a) ;

    la collecte d'une première portion de l'échantillon dans une deuxième zone du récipient de collecte d'échantillon (1404b) ;

    l'obturation de la deuxième zone du récipient de collecte d'échantillon (1404b) au moyen d'un dispositif flotteur (1406) lorsque la deuxième zone du récipient de collecte d'échantillon (1404b) a collecté la première portion de l'échantillon ; et

    la collecte d'une deuxième portion de l'échantillon dans la première zone du récipient de collecte d'échantillon (1404a).


     
    13. Procédé selon la revendication 12, dans lequel l'échantillon est un échantillon d'urine.
     
    14. Procédé selon la revendication 12, dans lequel le récipient de collecte d'échantillon comporte un intervalle entre la première zone du récipient de collecte d'échantillon (1404a) et la deuxième zone du récipient de collecte d'échantillon (1404b) de telle façon que l'échantillon peut s'écouler depuis la première zone du récipient de collecte d'échantillon (1404a) vers la deuxième zone du récipient de collecte d'échantillon (1404b).
     




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    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description