Title:
BLISTERED RAPID DIAGNOSTIC TEST WITH INCORPORATED MOISTURE ABSORBENT MATERIAL
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A package which incorporates, integrated in the composition of one of the components of the test package, a plastic support (1), a moisture absorbing agent, so that this does not affect them, in combination with one or more polymers, which may be packaged in a blister produced by a base sheet (7) with cavities (9), in each one whereof a rapid diagnostic test (5) is placed, whose base sheet (7) is complemented with a cover sheet (8) which seals the base sheet by heat fusion, achieving the hermeticity of each cavity.



Inventors:
Landeta Elorz, Oscar (Zaragoza, ES)
Genzor Asin, Carlos (Zaragoza, ES)
Application Number:
12/577445
Publication Date:
02/04/2010
Filing Date:
10/12/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D81/26
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20090230015Home pharmacy kitsSeptember, 2009Harrison
20030098255Packaging box for displayMay, 2003Hsiang
20080276950Paired Artificial NailsNovember, 2008Fracassi et al.
20080164181HOOP CONTAINER DISPENSERJuly, 2008Merlino
20090038965Cigarette package and method of producing sameFebruary, 2009Tanbo et al.
20090314670SPINDLE PACKAGINGDecember, 2009Alvarez et al.
20070187269Disc packaging deviceAugust, 2007Grasso et al.
20020070137Free-standing very-large-capacity flexible modular tool and material holder selectively mountable atop a step ladderJune, 2002Hedges
20030106812Impregnated wipe package with features improving handling and reducing transdermal migrationJune, 2003Wilkman
20090294315Disposal and Packaging DeviceDecember, 2009Silcott
20070102313Interdental brush assemblyMay, 2007Kuo



Primary Examiner:
FIDEI, DAVID
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
DANN, DORFMAN, HERRELL & SKILLMAN (PHILADELPHIA, PA, US)
Claims:
1. A blistered rapid diagnostic test package characterized in that it comprises: a base having at least one pre-formed cavity having a space adapted to receive a rapid diagnostic test element; a cover structure cooperating with said base adapted to seal said space; a rapid diagnostic test element in said at least one pre-formed cavity between said base and said cover structure, said test element having sides and ends exposed to said sealed space; a moisture absorbing agent integrated in said at least one pre-formed cavity of said test package and exposed to said sealed space; and said cover structure being fixed by heat fusion to said base, so as to provide the seal for said at least one pre-formed cavity containing said rapid diagnostic test element and said moisture absorbing agent.

2. The blistered rapid diagnostic test package of claim 1 wherein said moisture absorbing agent and at least one polymer are attached to said test element, and wherein said moisture absorbing agent and said at least one polymer are enclosed in said at least one cavity with said test element.

3. The blistered rapid diagnostic test package of claim 1 having a handling area spaced from said test element, wherein said moisture absorbing agent is integrated with said handling area.

4. The blistered rapid diagnostic test package of claim 1 comprising a punch-hole adjacent to one end of said preformed cavity whereby said base and said cover structure are separated to permit easy gripping and pulling of said cover structure in an opening operation of said package.

5. The blistered rapid diagnostic test package of claim 1 wherein said at least one cavity consists of a single cavity determining a single independent unit accommodating said rapid diagnostic test element.

6. The blistered rapid diagnostic test package of claim 1 wherein said at least one cavity consists of a plurality of cavities, each cavity defining a unit accommodating a single rapid diagnostic test element, said units being independently hermetically sealed and said base comprising a plurality of weakened tear lines between each two cavities to facilitate separation of said units.

7. The blistered rapid diagnostic test package of claim 1 further comprising an area where said cover structure is fixed by heat fusion to said base, said base having only one surface with ribs by way of knurling, so as to improve sealing of said cover structure.

8. The blistered rapid diagnostic test package of claim 6, further comprising an area adjacent to said weakened tear lines of each unit and collateral to each of said cavities, showing printed data selected from control data, information data and combinations thereof.

9. The blistered rapid diagnostic test package of claim 1 further comprising adhering means for adhering said base to said cover structure and wherein said base is directly adhered to said cover structure by said adhering means.

10. The blistered rapid diagnostic test package of claim 1, wherein said test element has a support, and further comprising adhering means for adhering said support to said test element, said adhering means comprising a double-sided adhesive acting as a separation between said test element and said support.

11. The blistered rapid diagnostic test package of claim 10 having a handling area on said support spaced from said test element, wherein said moisture absorbing agent is integrated with said handling area.

12. The blistered rapid diagnostic test package of claim 1 wherein said base and said cover structure each comprise aluminum having a thickness of at least 20 microns.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation-in-part application of U.S. application Ser. No. 11/588,985, filed Oct. 27, 2006, which was a §365 (c) continuation application of PCT/ES2005/000235 filed Apr. 29, 2005, which in turn claims priority to ES Application P200401045 filed Apr. 30, 2004 and ES Application P 200401085 filed May 6, 2004, each of the foregoing applications is incorporated herein by reference

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a rapid diagnostic test package with incorporated moisture absorbent material, which avoids that said moisture may affect the test or even invalidate it, giving erroneous results for the test being performed. Likewise, the invention relates to its form of blister packaging which may be formed in unit form or comprising several units which can be separated from one another.

The object of the invention is, therefore, to provide a new rapid diagnostic test package which incorporates the moisture absorbent material in its own structure, which permits the use of smaller packaging with the consequent reduction in packaging costs, in addition to its smaller transport volume and the smaller surface of moisture permeation from the exterior, this being achieved by suitable blister packaging which permits its properly sealed commercialization.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Currently, there are various products to perform rapid diagnostic tests and new ones are created every day. The best-known ones are immunochromatographic tests, and within these the best known are perhaps rapid pregnancy tests. The great problem with all these types of rapid diagnostic tests is that moisture considerably affects them, changing their characteristics and properties, and may even possibly invalidate them. Therefore, in addition to using packaging, e.g. aluminum or plastics, which guarantee hermeticity to moisture penetration, a type of moisture absorber, such as silica gel, molecular sieve or clay pellets is always added.

There currently exist two clear types of packaging for these products: those which contain multiple test elements in a single package, generally for hospital use, aluminum bags being the best-known of this type, wherein a determined number of tests and a pellet or separate sachet with the moisture absorbent material is inserted therein; and, on the other hand, the known plastic tubes wherein a number of test elements are also inserted, together with the pellet or sachet of moisture absorbent material. On some occasions, instead of this, packaging manufacturers exist that incorporate the absorbent material in the stopper, which logically increases their price. These types of multiple test packaging have, among others, the great drawback that once the packaging has been opened, it is difficult to guarantee the subsequent shelf-life of the product contained therein.

On the other hand, packages exist which contain a single test element, generally intended for personal use and, therefore, with clearly different requirements. The packaging used in these cases is an aluminum bag of reduced dimensions, wherein a test element and the sachet or pellet of absorbent material is inserted. This type of single-test packaging has some different types of drawbacks, e.g. a considerably larger bag than is necessary so that the sachet or pellet of moisture absorbent material can easily be inserted therein in the filling process, with the consequent increase in packaging costs.

Furthermore, two different operations are required in the filling process, one to insert the test element in the packaging and the other to insert the moisture absorbent material, which hinders said packaging process. Another drawback they have is that in many cases the use of these test elements are geared towards personal use and not towards qualified personnel, so that there may be confusion in the use of the pellet or sachet of absorbent material instead of the test element, with subsequent possible implications, and they may even be ingested.

On the other hand, as the size of the packaging bag is considerably larger than the test element, its transport, very important in this area, is considerably affected and its costs are greatly increased.

Finally, the quantity of moisture absorbent material needed is greater as the packaging is larger and, therefore, the moisture permeation surface will also increase.

The blister packaging system as means of packaging and commercialization of products and/or items is very common in different fields and sectors of the art, especially in the pharmaceutical sector, nevertheless, in the diagnostics sector, conventional blister packaging presents serious problems and drawbacks since the test elements are seriously affected by moisture, as previously mentioned. In any case, the blister packaging system can be considered as totally rejected in the industrial diagnostic sector, and probably due to the deficiency of traditional aluminums, wherein micropores exist, as well as the necessary thickness for decent insulation, which involves a large quantity of aluminum necessary to form the blister, also due to the considerable dimensions necessary to blister package the rapid diagnostic test element, together with the moisture absorbent material and the high cost of the machinery to manufacture the blister, as well as for the blister packaging process.

ES 2138890 discloses a test device comprises a housing having one or more reactants which may be damaged by humidity during storage wherein the housing is made up, at least partially, of plastic material containing moisture absorbent.

U.S. Pat. No. 6,319,466 discloses a test device for detecting the presence of a residue analyte in a sample includes a support strip and a sample-absorbing matrix attached to the support strip. The sample-absorbing matrix has a material for absorbing an amount of the sample. The test device also includes a mobile-phase support for holding a mobile-phase composition. The mobile-phase support is attached to the support strip and in contact with the sample-absorbing matrix. A mobile-phase composition is disposed on the mobile-phase support and has a receptor for binding with the analyte. The mobile-phase composition can be carried in the sample. A stationary-phase membrane is attached to the support strip and has a first membrane end in contact with the mobile-phase composition and a second membrane end. The membrane allows lateral capillary flow of the sample from the first membrane end to the second membrane end. A test zone is on the stationary-phase membrane between the first membrane end and second membrane end and having a first binder for binding with an unbound receptor. A control zone is the stationary-phase a membrane between the test zone and second membrane end and has a second binder for binding with an analyte-bound receptor or residual unbound receptor.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The rapid diagnostic test with incorporated moisture absorbent material and its form of blister packaging which the invention proposes, resolves the aforementioned problem in the different aspects commented in a fully satisfactorily manner.

Thus, the rapid diagnostic test package claimed is characterized in that it incorporates a moisture absorbing agent within the test package in one of its constituent parts, or in one of the general structural components of said test package, which eliminates said moisture during the time in which it remains packaged, so that it does not affect or invalidate it, giving erroneous results when performing the test.

These types of rapid diagnostic tests normally have a plastic support to give them a certain rigidity, or a handling area, so that as the invention proposes, said support or handling area will be the test component that has the best characteristics to incorporate the moisture absorber, since it does not directly interfere with the test, and therefore does not affect its properties as a rapid diagnostic test element. Said support or handling area combines one or more polymers with a drying agent, i.e. moisture absorber.

In this way, the support can be formed from a polymer that forms the main part of the composition, e.g. a thermoplastic or thermosetting polymer, a minority non-miscible polymer with the majority polymer, e.g. a hydrophilic or hydrophobic material and a particle that is substantially found in the minority polymer, e.g. the active agent, i.e. the moisture absorbing agent.

The support with the incorporated absorbent material can be adhered by any method suitable for the test element, although it will normally be performed with a double-sided adhesive, which means an additional barrier between the test element and the absorbent material found in the base.

According to another characteristic of the invention, these rapid diagnostic test packages with incorporated moisture absorbers are blister packaged. Said blister packaging is based on the blister being formed from two aluminum or plastic sheets, one of them acting as the base wherein one or several cavities is formed for the corresponding test package or packages, while the other sheet acts as cover and seal, to close the cavities of the base with the rapid diagnostic test elements therein.

The cover and sealing sheet is fixed on the base sheet, by heat fusion, with the mediation of determined polymeric or other materials that belong to the state of the art and which facilitate its fixing throughout its perimeter, to achieve the hermetic sealing of the different cavities formed in the base sheet, in those cases wherein it has more than one structure or cavity.

The blister, either as independent unit or as units which are separable or detachable, by a tear line between two consecutive cavities or structures, will have the surface upon which the sealing or fixing of the cover sheet will be performed, provided with embossing by way of knurling, with the object of permitting better sealing of the cover sheet to the base sheet.

We should highlight the fact that the blister has an external punch-hole adjacent to one of the ends of each separable unit, wherefrom the cover sheet will be separated from the base sheet, which will facilitate the grip and, therefore, the pulling to separate or open the blister of that specific unit.

In a variant of embodiment, an area or space for control code, expiry date, etc. has been provided collateral to each of the units.

Another variant of practical embodiment would be the blister packaging of the test inserted in a plastic case by way of reaction device, which is very widely used in the sanitary product sector for in vitro diagnosis, especially for the rapid diagnostic tests with incorporated moisture absorbers of the invention.

Although the material used would, in principle, be aluminum, the use of other possible materials such as plastics, thermoplastics, etc., especially those with low vapour permeability, cannot be ruled out.

These types of rapid diagnostic tests with incorporated moisture absorber has a series of advantages compared to the methods used up to now to avoid this type of test from being negatively affected by moisture, such as, for example, advantages due to the smaller size of the packaging which makes it easier to transport, only one filling operation is required as the humidity absorber is incorporated in the test, doubt or confusion as to which element or elements are necessary to perform the test is eradicated for individual users.

The blister packaging system for rapid diagnostic test also has several advantages compared to traditional packaging, and among said advantages we can cite the possibility of forming several detachable units in a single body, each with its hermetic test, drastically reducing the dimensions of each unit, as well as the manufacturing costs, given the possibility of making multiple blisters, minimal or practically null moisture transfer, reduction in transport costs and commercialization and permanent maintenance of the test's shelf-life as they are independently sealed.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

To complement the description being made and with the object of aiding towards a better understanding of the characteristics of the invention, in accordance with a preferred example of embodiment thereof, a set of drawings is attached as an integral part of said description, wherein the following has been represented, with an illustrative, non-limiting character.

FIG. 1 shows a schematic representation of an immunochromatographic test element in the format of a reactive strip where, according to the object of the invention, the moisture absorbent material has been incorporated in the support.

FIG. 2 shows a plan view of a multiple blister of rapid diagnostic tests, object of the invention.

FIG. 3 shows a cutaway view corresponding to the section line of 3-3 in FIG. 2.

FIG. 3A is an enlarged view of the portion encircled at 3A in FIG. 3.

FIG. 4 shows another cutaway view, in this case in accordance with the section line 4-4 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 shows an alternative embodiment of the multiple blister represented in FIG. 2, displaying collateral to each structure or cavity of each unit, a rectangular area for control or printing of any type of data or information.

PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION

In light of the described figures, and more specifically FIG. 1, we can observe that the rapid diagnostic test element (5) in the form of a reactive strip (2) represented therein is formed on a laminated plastic support (1), which gives it the rigidity necessary for its correct handling. The support (1) is joined to the structure (2) comprising the test element, by means of a double-sided adhesive (3), adding one or more protective sheets (4) to the unit, which protect and prevent contamination of the test element (2), thereby avoiding it from being damaged and possible errors from occurring in the test results.

The laminated plastic support (1) of the test package is the component of the package which incorporates the moisture absorbent material, which will be comprised of a combination of one or more polymers together with the drying agent responsible for absorbing the moisture.

As has been previously explained, the test elements (2) can be directly adhered to the support (1) or, as is shown in FIG. 1, by means of a double sided adhesive (3), which forms an additional barrier between the test and the absorbent material, thus avoiding the test being contaminated. The test element (2) is shorter than the support (4) so that one end of the laminated support (1) is uncovered to provide a handling area (6).

However, a preferred packaging system, represented in FIGS. 2-4, is developed in the invention; it is a blister formed from two sheets (7) and (8), the first acting as base sheet and the second as cover and sealing sheet of the previous, so that the base sheet (7) is provided with a series of preformed cavities (9), produced by forming, each one of which is designed to contain a rapid diagnostic test (5), As shown in FIGS. 3A and 4, when the test strip 2 is assembled in the packaging system, the preformed cavity may closely embrace the bottom of the test strip, but will expose the sides and ends of the strip to the air within the cavity, which air, in turn, is exposed to the moisture-absorbing material in the support 1, which engages the top of the test strip. In this way, any moisture in the air surrounding the test strip is absorbed by the absorbent material in the exposed areas of the support.

Each one of these cavities (9) is delimited with respect to the adjacent one, by a pair of weakened or precut lines (10) which permit separating each part or unit determined in the blister.

The cover sheet (8) is fixed to the base sheet (7) by heat fusion, in correspondence with the entire perimeter, to achieve the hermeticity of each of the units determined by the cavities (9) with the test (5) therein, since tearing these weakened or precut lines (10) permits separating each unit.

The contact surface of the base sheet (7), whereon the cover sheet (8) is fixed, has embossing (11) by way of knurling, which improves the sealing between both sheets (7) and (8).

Furthermore, adjacent to one of the ends there is a punch-hole (12) wherefrom sheets (7) and (8) are separated, allowing an easy grip and corresponding pulling of the sheet (8) when said cavity corresponding to each blister unit is opened. Evidently, other known opening systems in the blister packaging sector cannot be ruled out.

Having compared the blister packaging disclosed with the traditional packaging system, in both cases using aluminum, it has been verified that the traditional packaging in a bag has an aluminum thickness of approximately 1 micron, whilst the aluminum used in the blister packaging of the invention has an approximate thickness of 20 microns with regard to the cover or sealing sheet (8), and around 45 microns in the base sheet (8), so that thickness will be lost when making the cavities (9) in the latter, but it will never be less than the 20 microns of the cover or sealing sheet (8).

Although more material is used in the case of the invention and, therefore, it is more expensive, as a consequence of the drastic reduction in size of one packaging system with respect to the other, it means that the end cost of the blister packaging is practically the same as that of the conventional packaging.

Furthermore, we should highlight the fact that, according to the experiments performed, in traditional packaging the total humidity in the packaging, after one year, is considerably greater than that of the blister packaging of the invention, being able to consider moisture transfer in the blister packaging of the invention as zero.

We should also state that the dimensions of the blister packaging with respect to conventional packaging are considerably reduced in the first case, and we can estimate dimensions of 120×60 mm, in conventional packaging, compared to approximately 78×5 mm in the blister packaging of the invention, which involves considerable differences between the moisture filtration surface of 0.0144 m2 in conventional packaging compared to 0.00078 m2 in the blister packaging of the invention, the initial volume of internal air also being considerably lower, which logically has an influence on the initial moisture quantity within the packaging at the time of sealing.

Specifically, it is calculated that the moisture in the conventional packaging, after one year, is 0.377 g compared to 0.008 g in the case of the blister packaging of the invention, which has a clear implication consisting of less need for moisture absorbent material, and therefore greater shelf-life of the product in the blister packaging of the invention.

It should also be highlighted that, as the blister packaging of the invention is of reduced dimensions with respect to conventional packaging, the boxes wherein the products are going to be sent admit between 10 and 34 times more units than with traditional packaging, which means a very large reduction in transport costs, and more so for this type of sector where most of the production is devoted to importation and exportation.

Finally, we should state that even for the case of multi-tests, the blister packaging of the invention has a clear advantage over traditional systems, plastic tubes or bags of greater dimensions, as in these cases once the packaging is open its shelf-life is very difficult to guarantee; in the case of the invention, as the tests are individually hermetically sealed, the shelf-life is not altered.

FIG. 5 represents an alternative embodiment of the blistered package also formed from two corresponding sheets, one a base sheet and the other a cover or sealing sheet, with the cavities (9′) housing the respective test (5′) in each one thereof, so that in this case, each unit, separated as in the previous case from the adjacent ones by delimited tear lines (10′), has, collateral to each cavity (9′), an area for the control code, expiry date information or other type of information, in this case establishing a different opening system, by breaking.