Title:
SLIDE STORAGE ASSEMBLY
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The invention relates to a slide storage assembly (300) having spacer elements (100, 200) and a slide container (301), which is embodied to accommodate a stack of at least two slide layers, each slide layer comprising a slide (400) and at least two of the spacer elements (100, 200).



Inventors:
Schlaudraff, Falk (Butzbach/Nieder-Weisel, DE)
Application Number:
13/892656
Publication Date:
11/21/2013
Filing Date:
05/13/2013
Assignee:
Leica Microsystems CMS GmbH (Wetzlar, DE)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B88/04
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Primary Examiner:
HANDY, DWAYNE K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HODGSON RUSS LLP (BUFFALO, NY, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A slide storage assembly (300) comprising: a plurality of spacer elements (100, 200); and a slide container (301) configured to accommodate a stack of at least two slide layers, wherein each slide layer comprises a slide (400) and at least two of the spacer elements (100, 200).

2. The slide storage assembly (300) according to claim 1, wherein the at least two spacer elements (100, 200) of a slide layer each comprise a support surface (121) on which the slide (400) of the slide layer rests.

3. The slide storage assembly (300) according to claim 2, wherein each spacer element of the at least two spacer elements (100, 200) of a slide layer comprises an abutment surface (122) extending perpendicularly to the support surface (121), wherein said abutment surface is configured to space the slide (400) of the slide layer from the slide container (301).

4. The storage assembly (300) according to claim 3, wherein at least one spacer element of the at least two spacer elements (100, 200) of a slide layer comprises two abutment surfaces (122) extending perpendicular to the support surface (121), said two abutment surfaces being configured to space the slide (400) of the slide layer from the slide container (301).

5. The slide storage assembly (300) according to claim 1, wherein at least one spacer element of the at least two spacer elements (100, 200) has an inwardly projecting edge (120)

6. The slide storage assembly (300) according to claim 1, wherein at least one spacer element of the at least two spacer elements (100, 200) has an inwardly projecting corner (220).

7. The slide storage assembly (300) according to claim 1, wherein at least one slide layer of the at least two slide layers comprises the slide (400) and four spacer elements (200) each having an inwardly projecting edge (120).

8. The slide storage assembly (300) according to clam 1, wherein each spacer element of the at least two spacer elements (100, 200) includes a planar upper side (111) and a planar underside (112).

9. The slide storage assembly (300) according to claim 8, wherein a spacer element (100, 200) of a first slide layer of the at least two slide layers abuts with its underside (112) on the upper side (111) of a spacer element (100, 200) of a second slide layer of the at least two slide layers located underneath the first slide layer in the stack.

10. The slide storage assembly (300) according to claim 8, wherein the slide container (301) includes a base, and a spacer element (100, 200) of a lowermost slide layer of the at least two slide layers abuts with its underside (112) on the base of the slide container (301).

11. The slide storage assembly (300) according to claim 1, wherein each slide layer of the at least two slide layers comprises exactly two spacer elements (100, 200).

12. The slide storage assembly (300) according to claim 1, wherein each slide layer of the at least two slide layers comprises exactly three spacer elements (100, 200).

13. The slide storage assembly (300) according to claim 1, wherein each slide layer of the at least two slide layers comprises exactly four spacer elements (100, 200).

14. The slide storage assembly (300) according to claim 1, wherein at least one of the at least two slide layers comprises a slide (400) of a first kind and at least one other of the at least two slide layers comprises a slide (400) of a second kind different from the first kind.

15. The slide storage assembly (300) according to claim 1, wherein the slide container (301) is configured to accommodate stacks of at most ten slide layers.

16. The slide storage assembly (300) according to claim 1, wherein the slide container (301) is configured to accommodate stacks of at most eight slide layers.

17. The slide storage assembly (300) according to claim 1, wherein the slide container (301) is configured to accommodate stacks of at most five slide layers.

18. The slide storage assembly (300) according to one claim 1, wherein the slide container (301) is configured as a cuboid or cylindrical container having a continuous interior.

19. The slide storage assembly (300) according to claim 1, wherein a vertical extent of each spacer element of the at least two spacer elements (100, 200) of a slide layer is greater than a vertical extent of the slide (400) of the same slide layer.

20. The slide storage assembly (300) according to claim 1, wherein a horizontal extent of each spacer element of the at least two spacer elements (100, 200) of a slide layer is less than a horizontal extent of the slide (400) of the same slide layer.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority of German patent application number 10 2012 208 152.6 filed May 15, 2012, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated by reference herein.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to a slide storage assembly having a slide container and at least one slide spacer.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In laser microdissection, small samples are excised from tissue and applied to specimen slides (e.g. glass slides with or without a membrane, etc.) for further use. Specimen slides of various shapes and sizes are used, which rules out the use of conventional standard-size slide containers for further storage and transport. Usually, a relatively small number of slides of a special size have to be stored and transported safely without damaging or contaminating the material applied to them and/or the slides themselves. For example, slides with a membrane, of the kind frequently used in laser microdissection, are very pressure-sensitive and should not be touched on the membrane. For storage and transport, special slide containers have to be produced, which is a complex and expensive process.

It is desirable to have simple means available for securely storing and transporting slides, regardless of their dimensions.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

According to the invention, a slide storage assembly has a plurality of spacer elements and a slide container configured to accommodate a stack of at least two slide layers, wherein each slide layer comprises a slide and at least two of the spacer elements. Advantageous embodiments are the subject the description that follows.

ADVANTAGES OF THE INVENTION

The invention provides a slide storage assembly with which slides can be easily and safely stored and transported. The slide storage assembly comprises a slide container into which the slides can be placed together with spacer elements. The spacer elements ensure a defined alignment of the slides with the slide container and with one another. Also different types of slides (i.e. of different shapes and/or sizes) may be placed in the same slide container, using suitable, optionally different, spacer elements. Both the container and the spacer elements may be produced particularly easily, rapidly and inexpensively. It is thus also possible to provide a safe and reliable storage and transport option for a relatively small number of slides simply and cheaply.

The slide storage assembly is configured so that the slide container holds a stack of several layers, each layer consisting of a slide and at least two associated spacer element. Depending on the embodiment, preferably exactly or at least two, three or four spacer elements will be sufficient per layer to hold the slide securely in the slide container. Usually, not more than six or eight spacer elements will be necessary per layer to hold the slide. Preferably the spacer elements of adjacent layers in a stack are in contact with one another, i.e. are placed on top of one another.

According to a preferred embodiment, the slide container is a cuboid or cylindrical container, having a continuous interior with no compartments, which is particularly made of plastics. A spacer element may preferably be embodied as a cuboid with an inwardly projecting edge or corner, particularly of plastics. The slide storage assembly is expediently embodied such that the inwardly projecting edge or corner delimits a support surface for a slide placed therein. Containers and spacer elements of this kind are particularly simple and cheap to produce. E.g. for accommodating rectangular slides, each slide layer may comprise the slide and exactly four spacer elements with inwardly projecting corners. The depth of the inwardly projecting edge or corner defines a support surface for the slide, the height of the inwardly projecting edge or corner defines an upward spacing. It is dimensioned so as to be taller than the height (“thickness”) of a slide to be stored therein.

The present invention has the particular advantage that slides of different shapes and sizes can be stored and transported particularly easily by the provision of different spacers and/or slide containers in slide storage assemblies according to the invention. The slide storage assemblies according to the invention are particularly suitable for small numbers of slides, particularly ranging from two to ten.

Further features and embodiments of the invention will become apparent from the description and the attached drawings.

It will be understood that the features mentioned hereinbefore and those still to be described hereinafter may be used not only in the particular combination specified but also in other combinations or on their own, without departing from the scope of the present invention.

The invention is schematically illustrated in the drawings by means of an embodiment by way of example and is hereinafter described in detail with reference to the drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING VIEWS

FIG. 1 shows a first preferred embodiment of a spacer element of a slide storage assembly according to the invention.

FIG. 2 shows a second preferred embodiment of a spacer element of a slide storage assembly according to the invention.

FIG. 3 shows a preferred embodiment of a slide storage assembly according to the invention having a slide container in which a plurality of layers comprising spacer elements and slides are placed.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 shows a first preferred embodiment of a spacer element 100 in perspective view. The spacer element consists of a cuboid 110, particularly made of plastics, with an inwardly projecting edge 120. The edge 120 delimits a support surface 121 which serves as a support surface for a slide. The edge 120 further delimits an abutment surface 122, which serves as an outer abutment surface for a slide lying on the support surface 121.

A height h of the abutment surface 122 is expediently at least the same height as a thickness d of a slide 400 to be accommodated, so that stacked spacer elements also rest on one another and not on the slides. A height hs of the step remaining determines the distance between stacked slides 400. This height hs is always greater than the thickness or height of the object on the slide (minus the difference between h and d). The stack surfaces are defined by an upper side 111 and an underside 112 of the spacer element, which come to rest on one another when the spacer elements are stacked.

The spacer element 200 according to FIG. 2 corresponds in its essential functions to the spacer element 100 according to FIG. 1. Only, instead of the edge 120, it comprises an inwardly projecting corner 220, which delimits a support surface 221 and two abutment surfaces 222.

The spacer element 200 expediently serves to accommodate one corner of a slide, whereas the spacer element 100 expediently serves to accommodate one edge of a slide.

FIG. 3 shows a preferred embodiment of a slide storage assembly 300 according to the invention in which, for reasons of greater clarity, not all the corners and edges of the slides and spacer elements are shown.

The slide storage assembly 300 comprises a cuboid slide container 301 made of plastics, in which four layers of slides 400 with associated spacer elements 100, 200 are stacked. The slide container 301 and the spacer elements 100, 200 are of such dimensions that the slide 400 to be accommodated fits precisely into the recesses provided by the abutment surfaces 121 of the spacer elements 100, 200 inside the slide container 301.

The vertical extent (i.e. perpendicular to the layers) of a spacer element is greater than the vertical extent of the slide in the same layer, so that the spacer elements prevent the slides 400 from touching one another. The horizontal extent (i.e. in the plane of the layer) of a spacer element is preferably less than the horizontal extent of the slide in the same layer, as only individual points of a slide have to be supported.

The slides 400 are thus firmly and securely held in the slide storage assembly 300, with the result that, in particular, tissue samples deposited on the slides 400 remain undamaged.





 
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