US 3688763 A
Cellular material is collected from the large intestine of a patient on a sponge. The patient swallows the sponge contained compressed in a gelatin casing with an enteric coating, the casing being dissolved in the large intestine to release the sponge, which is naturally evacuated by the patient and recovered for analysis.
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O United States Patent 51 3,688,763
Cromarty Sept. 5, 1972  DIAGNOSTIC DEVICE AND METHOD 2,798,024 7/1957 Zapapas et al ..424/21 In entor: C marty Parmalea I Enz et a1 Crescent Weston Ontario Canada 3,315,660 4/1967 Abella ..128/2 F I 3,118,439 1/ 1964 Perrenoud 128/2 F  Filed: July 15, 1970 1,438,064 12/1922 Simmons ..128/260 471,343 3/1892 Poehl ..128/260 X  APPL R24,666 7/1959 Draghi ..12s/2 w 298,720 5/1884 Anderson ..128/269 X  Foreign Application Priority Data Primary Examinerl(yle L. Howell July 28, 1969 Great Britain ..37,84l/69 Att0mey Maybee & Legris  US. Cl. .JZB/Z B, 128/2 F, l28/2 W 57 ABSTRACT  Int. Cl. ..A6lb 10/00  Field of Search 128/2 w 2 B, 2 F 2 p 2 R, Cellular material 18 collected from the large intestine 2 72 213 2 0 2 1 2 9. 424/ 9 22 Of a patient on a sponge. Tl'1 patient swallows the sponge contained compressed in a gelatin casing with  References Ciud an enteric coating, the casing being dissolved in the large intestine to release the sponge, which is naturally UNITED STATES PATENTS evacuated by the patient and recovered for analysis.
1,575,123 3/ 1926 Martocci-Pisculli...128l285 X 4 Claims, 1 Drawing Figure PATENTEDSEP 51912 3688.763
l NW-"EN'H R RAYMOND CROMARTY Attorneys DIAGNOSTIC DEVICE AND METHOD BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION This invention relates to a diagnostic method for the detection of diseases and to a diagnostic device. More particularly, it relates to a method of and device for obtaining cellular material from the large intestine of a patient, for subsequent cytological examination.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART It has previously been proposed to collect cells from the large intestine of a patient, for subsequent analysis, by injecting the patient anally with a polymerizable liquid composition. The composition polymerizes in situ in the body cavity to form a cellular, sponge-like mass, upon which cells from the body cavity deposit. The sponge-like mass is evacuated by the normal defecatory process of the patient, recovered, and the cells deposited thereon, removed and analyzed.
Such a procedure has the disadvantage that it requires expensive composition and equipment, and has to be carried out by skilled, medically trained personnel. It cannot be conducted by the patient himself, away from medical facilities.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION An object of the present invention is to provide a novel method of collecting cellular material from the large intestine of a patient, and a device therefor.
A further object is to provide a simple such method which can be conducted by the patient himself, and involves the use of an inexpensive device only.
According to one aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of collecting cellular material from the large intestine of a patient, which comprises administering orally to the patient a capsule comprising a readily compressible sponge of fine pore structure enclosed in a gelatin or similar enzymedegradable casing, the casing having an enteric coating over its outer surface, recoveringthe sponge after its natural evacuation from the body, and recovering from the sponge cells collected thereon during its passage through the large intestine of the body.
According to a second aspect of the invention, there is provided a diagnostic device of an overall size such as to allow it to be swallowed by a patient and passed through the intestines of the body, said device comprising a sponge retained in compressed form inside a capsule, the capsule being insoluble in gastric juices of the stomach, but soluble to release the sponge in the large intestine.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING The accompanying drawing shows an exploded view of a preferred embodiment of a diagnostic device according to the present invention.
The device is in the form of a capsule having two interfitting half shells l and 11, of circular cross section, of gelatin. Inside the shells of gelatin is provided a sponge 12. The sponge is compressed inside the shells, from a relaxed diameter of about 1 inch, to a diameter of about one-fourth inch, which is the approximate inner diameter of the gelatin shells.
After insertion of the sponge 12, the interfitting of the two half shells l0 and 11 to make a capsule, the
capsule is provided with an overall exterior enteric coating 13, which seals the capsule. The capsule is then ready to be administered to the patient. lts overall size is suitably three-fourths inch in length and one-fourth inch in diameter.
DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS The type of sponge is chosen with a view to easy compressibility, and very small adherence in relation to the walls of the intestines of the body. It must also, of course, be inert to the action of fluids present in the intestines, to which it will be exposed during use. Finely porous polyurethane sponge is suitable.
Suitable enteric coatings are those based on cellulose acetate phthalate. The coating may be applied in solvent form, for example as a solution in methylene chloride. The coating may also include additional ingredients such as plasticizers, e.g. ethyl phthalate, and non-friction aids, such as silicones.
In use, the capsule is swallowed by the patient, and passes into the stomach. Due to the presence of the enteric coating, the capsule remains unchanged and unaffected in the stomach, and passes into the small intestine. The secretions present in the small intestine start to attack the enteric coating and dissolve it. The gelatin shells are then attached by these secretions. Thus the capsule is disintegrated and the sponge released in the small intestine. The sponge is propelled along the intestines by the normal peristaltic action of the intestines, and eventually enters the large intestine. Here, the re-expanded sponge absorbs mucous, containing cells from the large intestine. The sponge travels on as before and is eventually naturally expelled from the anus, where it is carefully collected and the cells it has picked up removed and analyzed.
Preferably, the capsule is administered to the patient after a laxative, to clear the intestines of fecal material, and after several hours have elapsed since the patient consumed food. Further food should not be taken by the patient within about 7 hours after swallowing the capsule. This is to ensure that the sponge, when recovered,-is not contaminated with excessive amounts of fecal material, hindering analysis of the cells it has collected. The time from swallowing to emission of the sponge in the process of the present invention is normally about 12 hours.
By means of this invention, the presence of malignant cells in the large intestines can be determined, allowing early detection of pathological process of this organ.
What I claim as my invention is:
l. A method of collecting cellular material from the large intestine of a patient, which comprises fasting the patient, administering orally to the patient a capsule comprising an enzyme degradable casing, an enteric coating over the outer surface of said casing, and a readily compressible sponge of fine pore structure enclosed within said casing, recovering the sponge material after its natural evacuation from the body, and recovering from the sponge cells collected thereon during its passage through the large intestine of the body.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein the sponge is finely porous polyurethane sponge, and the casing is of gelatine.
4. A diagnostic device of an overall size such as to allow it to be swallowed by a patient and passed through the intestines of the body, said device being generally cylindrical in overall shape and comprising an enzyme degradable gelatine casing, a cellulose acetate phthalate based enteric coating over the outer surface of said casing, and a readily compressible and re-expandable finely porous polyurethane sponge retained and enclosed within said casing in a compressed form.
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