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Apparatus for obtaining and analyzing a blood sample with a lancet coupling mechanism

Abstract: An apparatus for obtaining and analyzing a blood sample is presented. The apparatus comprises an integrated drive unit having a common drive source and a drive force transmission gearing that couples a lancet drive, a device for advancing a magazine, and a sample transfer device to the drive source. A tensioning rotor and a drive rotor are mounted so that they are rotatable coaxially to one another. A first cam control converts the rotation of the drive rotor into a radial forward and reverse movement of a drive rod. A second cam control converts the rotational movement of the tensioning rotor into a linear movement of a link slide. A switching link moved by the link slide rotates the magazine an additional step. A third cam control converts the rotational movement of the tensioning rotor into a linear movement of a pressure tappet perpendicular to the piercing axis.


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The Patent Description data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120271126 , Apparatus for obtaining and analyzing a blood sample with a lancet coupling mechanism

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation of PCT/EP2010/005416, filed Sep. 3, 2010, which is based on and claims priority to EP 09012895.0, filed Oct. 13, 2009, which is hereby incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND

The present disclosure generally relates to an apparatus for obtaining and analyzing a blood sample and, in particular, to an apparatus for obtaining and analyzing a blood sample having a lancet coupling mechanism.

SUMMARY

Patients with metabolic diseases typically must regularly analyze their blood. Especially diabetics are instructed to regularly check the blood sugar level. For this purpose, a small wound is generated by means of a lancet, preferably on a fingertip. A small sample is then collected from the exiting blood and transferred to a test element in order to be analyzed.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

In more recent times, small, automatically operating, handheld devices have been developed, which contain a magazine having a plurality of lancets implemented as disposable articles and a corresponding number of test elements. The analysis of the blood sample is performed by an integrated measuring device. Such highly integrated devices have an advantage that the patient only needs to carry a single apparatus that can perform a number of tests identically before the consumable material needs to be replaced.

The design requirements for a small hand-held apparatus that anyone can perform an automatic blood sugar test can be extraordinarily demanding since the device needs to be as small and light as possible. It should be able to be operated so easily and comfortably that a blood sugar test can be performed anywhere and as inconspicuously as possible. Of course, absolute reliability should be expected from a medical apparatus. Since diabetes is widespread disease, the manufacturing costs should remain low for a mass-produced product.

For a fully automatically operating blood sugar test device, a special drive mechanism may be required to execute various and highly differing movements. These movements may include the rapid piercing movement of the lancet and the subsequent retraction movement, the advancing of the magazine to bring an unused lancet into functional position, the coupling of a fresh lancet and the decoupling of the used lancet, and kinematics that transfer of the blood sample from the lancet to the test element.

Therefore, there is a need for an apparatus for obtaining and analyzing a blood sample that is compact and light with very high mechanical reliability and the least possible energy demand.

According to the present disclosure, an apparatus for obtaining and analyzing a blood sample is disclosed. The apparatus can comprise a housing, a contact device provided on the housing for pressing against a body part from which the blood sample is to be taken, and a magazine movably mounted on the housing. The magazine can comprise a plurality of lancets. Each lancet can pierce the body part and retract from the body part to receive the blood sample exiting the pierced body part. The apparatus further comprises a device for advancing the magazine to bring a lancet into a functional position and a lancet drive having a drive rod coupled to the lancet located in the functional position. The lancet drive can execute a controlled piercing movement along a piercing axis. Test elements can be assigned to the lancets. Each test element can receive the blood sample in order to analyze the blood sample. The apparatus also can comprise an integrated drive unit comprising the lancet drive, the device for advancing the magazine, and a device for generating a sample transfer movement perpendicular to the piercing axis.

In accordance with one embodiment of the present disclosure, the apparatus can comprise a lancet coupling mechanism. The lancing coupling mechanism can comprise at least one chamber that extends in the direction of the piercing axis and comprises a lancet, a drive rod that penetrates into the chamber and is coupled to the lancet to execute a controlled forward and reverse movement along the piercing axis. The lancet can be elastically bendable around at least one bending axis extending transversely to the piercing axis. The chamber can comprise a shaft adapted to the cross section of the lancet. The shaft can have at least one curvature around an axis transverse to the piercing axis. The drive rod can be coupled to the lancet when the lancet is in the bent state. The drive rod can have a formfitting connection to the lancet when the lancet is in a relaxed state.

Accordingly, it is a feature of the embodiments of the present disclosure to an apparatus for obtaining and analyzing a blood sample that is compact and light with very high mechanical reliability and the least possible energy demand. Other features of the embodiments of the present disclosure will be apparent in light of the description of the disclosure embodied herein.

In the following detailed description of the embodiments, reference is made to the accompanying drawings that form a part hereof, and in which are shown by way of illustration, and not by way of limitation, specific embodiments in which the disclosure may be practiced. It is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and that logical, mechanical and electrical changes may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present disclosure.

One aspect of this disclosure is an integrated drive unit that comprising a lancet drive, a device for advancing the magazine, and a device for generating a sample transfers movement substantially perpendicular to the piercing axis. The drive unit not only drives the lancet but also can ensure the advancing of the magazine at the end of a test cycle and can additionally be capable of generating a movement substantially perpendicular to the piercing axis, which can be used for the purpose of transferring the received blood sample from the lancet to an assigned test element because the lancet and the test element can be pressed against one another. A force can be exerted substantially perpendicular to the piercing axis. In addition, the sample transfer movement can comprise further movement sequences such as the test element and the lancet can be moved relative to one another. However, these movement sequences do not necessarily need to be perpendicularly to the piercing axis but rather can comprise a movement component parallel to the piercing axis, for example.

The aspect of a single drive unit for all mechanical movements needed for performing a test cycle can have many advantages. The device can be more compact and therefore lighter. In addition, the device can operate more reliably and effectively. Finally, the device may be produced cost-effectively.

In one embodiment, the integrated drive unit can have a single common drive source for delivering the force for the lancet drive, advancing the magazine, and the sample transfer movement. The drive source can be coupled to the lancet drive, the device for advancing the magazine, and the device for generating the sample transfer movement by a drive force transmission gearing. In particular, a rotor can be used as the central element of such a drive force transmission gearing. The rotor can transmit the force of the drive source selectively to the lancet drive, the device for advancing the magazine, and the device for generating the sample transfer movement as a function of the rotational angle. The movements needed for piercing, for advancing the magazine, and for sample transfer can be generated from rotational movements around a common axis.

The fact that the force of the central drive source does not directly generate the final needed required translational movements, but rather first sets a rotor into rotation, can result in a natural rotational angle range of 360° to be available so that in the course of a full rotation of the rotor to couple the drive source successively to the lancet drive, the device for advancing the magazine, or the device for generating the sample transfer movement.

It is generally known that the lancet drive should execut a rapid piercing movement in the direction of the body part which is to be pierced and a rapid subsequent retraction movement, at least at the beginning. In comparison, the remaining movements that are required for advancing the magazine, for coupling and decoupling the lancet, and for transferring the blood sample from the lancet to the test element, are relatively slow. For this purpose, the drive unit can advantageously comprises a drive rotor whose rotation is converted by a first cam control into a radial forward and reverse movement of the lancet, a coaxial tensioning rotor, a drive spring acting between drive rotor and tensioning rotor, and also a stepping switch mechanism having a second cam control that converts the rotational movement of the tensioning rotor into a linear movement for advancing the magazine, as well as a test element coupling device having a third cam control that converts the rotational movement of the tensioning rotor into a linear movement of a contact pressure element perpendicular to the piercing axis. According to one embodiment, only the tensioning rotor can be directly frictionally coupled to the central drive source via the drive force transmission gearing. A rotation of the tensioning rotor is converted by the cam controls either into a linear movement for advancing the magazine or into a linear movement of a contact pressure element perpendicular to the piercing axis. The slow movements may thus be implemented. The rapid piercing movement of the lancet can occur if the drive spring was previously tensioned, by rotating the tensioning rotor in relation to the drive rotor, and released to trigger the piercing. In this manner, it can be possible to adapt the drive source primarily to the slow movements of the magazine, the lancet coupling mechanism, and the device for blood sample transfer. The substantially more rapid piercing movement can be triggered by the tension force of the drive spring. Because the tensioning rotor can be used as the central element of the drive force transmission gearing, it can be possible to cause all movements of the drive mechanism to arise from a single common drive source.

An electric motor can be suitable for the drive source where the speed can optionally be stepped down by means of a worm gearing sufficiently so that the rotational movement of the tensioning rotor can be sufficiently controlled precisely. However, any other moving drive element which delivers a mechanical drive force, such as a spring mechanism for example, can also be used. The drive source can also comprise an energy accumulator.

Another aspect of the present disclosure is a lancet coupling. The flexibility of the lancet in conjunction with the curved chamber can result in the lancet stored in the chamber can be elastically bent with the curvature of the chamber. Because of the bending tension, the lancet can be clamped in the chamber. The lancet can thus press against the wall of the chamber with spring force. This can have the advantage that the lancet in the chamber can remain in position even if the chamber is moved or shocks are exerted thereon. Rattling noises during the transport and handling of the device can be prevented.

If the lancet is withdrawn from the curved chamber along the piercing axis, it can relax and reassume its original shape. The elastic deformation of the lancet during the transition from the bent state into the relaxed state and vice versa can be used to couple the drive rod to the lancet. The drive rod can be coupled onto the lancet when the lancet is in the bent state. In contrast, if the lancet is in the relaxed state outside the chamber, the drive rod can have a formfitting connection to the lancet. A controlled piercing movement can now be executed along the piercing axis. The form fit between drive rod and lancet can also allow the lancet to be retracted again after the piercing. If the lancet is retracted sufficiently far enough that it enters the curved shaft of the chamber again, the lancet can again bend elastically. The formfitting connection between lancet and drive rod may thus be disengaged again.

To produce the formfitting connection in the relaxed state, the lancet can have a coupling recess and the drive rod can have a coupling structure on its front end that can extend perpendicular to the bending axis of the lancet and that can engage in the coupling recess of the bent lancet. If the lancet is withdrawn from the chamber, the coupling recess can move on a circular path around the bending axis. In contrast, the coupling structure can only move in the direction of the piercing axis. During synchronous movement of drive rod and lancet in the direction of the piercing axis, a relative movement can result between the coupling recess and the coupling structure in a direction perpendicular to the piercing axis. The coupling recess therefore can automatically engage with the coupling structure.

The lancet can be manufactured simply from a piece of level flat sheet metal. It can have an eye in a rear area. The drive rod can have a correspondingly implemented hook in a front end, which can hook into the eye of the lancet. The lancets, of which large quantities may be required, can be produced very simply and cost-effectively, for example, by stamping. It may only be necessary to select a sufficiently elastic material, such as, for example, sheet steel. The eye should be sufficiently wide that the hook at the front end of the drive rod can be hooked on. In one embodiment, the lancets can be approximately 1 mm wide. The chamber for accommodating the lancet can be implemented as correspondingly narrow.

A plurality of chambers may be positioned adjacent to one another in a circular magazine, the shafts of the chambers extending in the radial direction. By rotating the magazine, one of the chambers may be brought into a position in which the drive rod can penetrate into the chamber and can couple onto the lancet located into the chamber. Such an arrangement of the chambers in a flat ring magazine allows the construction of a very compact handheld device having low overall height, above all if a rotor drive is positioned coaxially in the middle of the ring magazine.

In one embodiment, the magazine can comprise a lower part and an upper part which can form the chambers. The lancets may thus be laid in the relaxed state in the still open chambers. As soon as the upper part is put on, the lancets can be forced into the curvatures of the resulting shafts and can no longer slip out of their predefined position inside the magazine without force from the outside. All chambers of the magazine can be filled simultaneously with lancets in one work step and the bending of the lancets which is required for the function of the lancet coupling mechanism can be generated by simply pressing on the magazine upper part.

Referring now to , the load-bearing element of the apparatus can be a base plate . The housing can comprise an upper cover can be installed on the base plate . A round receptacle can be provided on the upper side on which a magazine in the form of a circular ring can be placed. This magazine can comprise a plurality of chambers in each of which a lancet is stored. The chambers can be positioned adjacent to one another and can extend in the radial direction. The magazine can also comprise a plurality of test elements assigned to the chambers .

The front side of the housing can be formed by a contact pressure bow . A fixation ring with an opening can be positioned approximately in the middle of the contact pressure bow . The fixation ring can be used for the contact pressure of a body part, such as a fingertip, from which a blood sample is to be taken. The fingertip can protrude somewhat into the opening . One of the lancets stored in the magazine can pierce through the opening into the fingertip and can be retracted again to get a sample of the blood from the puncture wound.

The lancet drive can be concealed under the cover . Only the front end of a drive rod , is visible through a rectangular exit opening in the cover in . In operation, when the magazine is positioned in the receptacle , the drive rod can emerge from the opening and penetrate the rear of a chamber of the magazine to drive the lancet stored therein forward in the direction of the opening and subsequently withdraw the lancet again along the piercing axis into the chamber . The blood sample can be transferred to a test element for analysis.

The lancets and test elements stored in the magazine are intended for a single use. After obtaining and analyzing a blood sample, the magazine can be rotated around its axis to move a fresh lancet into the functional position. The device for advancing the magazine can be located below the cover . A link slide can cooperate with pins provided on the lower side of the magazine in order to convert a movement of the link slide in the radial direction into a rotation of the magazine around its rotational axis.

A device for generating a sample transfer movement perpendicular to the piercing axis can be seen below the contact pressure bow . This device can be used to transfer the blood sample received by the lancet onto an assigned test element in the magazine since that the lancet and the test element can be pressed against one another.

The details of the drive unit can be seen in . A lancet can be located in the functional position in front of the drive rod . An electric motor can be fastened on the base plate and can be supplied with power by a battery. A worm shaft , which can be meshed with a worm wheel , can be positioned on the shaft of the electric motor . The speed of the electric motor can be stepped down strongly. Further gearwheels, which can be partially located below the base plate , can transmit the drive force of the electric motor to a tensioning rotor mounted so it can be rotatable around a perpendicular rotational axis on the base plate . A drive rotor can be mounted so it is rotatable around the same rotational axis and therefore coaxially to the tensioning rotor . Tensioning rotor and drive rotor can be connected so they are rotationally movable via a coiled spring. This coiled spring can be used as the drive spring of the lancet drive.

If the tensioning rotor is set into rotation by the electric motor while the coaxial drive rotor is stationary, the drive spring can be tensioned. If the drive rotor is then released, it runs behind the tensioning rotor under the action of the relaxing drive spring. This rapid rotation of the drive rotor can be converted by a cam control into a radial forward and reverse movement of a piercing carriage . The piercing carriage can carry a drive rod which can be coupled onto a lancet.

In order to vary the stroke of the lancet, the rotation of the drive rotor cannot be directly converted into a radial forward and return movement of the lancet along the piercing axis. Rather, the conversion can be performed via a one-armed transmission lever , whose lever axis is mounted on a lever carriage movable transversely to the piercing axis. The transmission lever can have a substantially oblong hole in which a pivot pin of the lever carriage engages. On its opposite free end, the transmission lever can be implemented as a fork , which encompasses a pin provided at the edge of the piercing carriage . Pivoting the transmission lever around a pivot pin therefore can result in a linear movement of the piercing carriage along the piercing axis or in the radial direction, in relation to the rotational axis of the drive rotor .

Between the oblong hole and the fork , the transmission lever can carry a groove rider , which points downward and engages in a control groove provided on the upper side of the drive rotor . If the lever carriage is moved to the left, for example, the pivot pin can travel to the right in the oblong hole . The lever arm between pivot pin and groove rider can thus be lengthened, and therefore the transmission ratio using which a radial movement of the groove rider can be transmitted via the transmission lever to the pin of the piercing carriage . Since the lever carriage is displaced parallel to the rest location of the transmission lever , only the stroke of the free lever end which drives the piercing carriage changes, while in contrast, the rest position of the piercing carriage is not changed. This can allow the stroke of the lancet to be varied in order to adapt the piercing depth.

The rear edge of the lever carriage can be implemented as a tooth rack in which a gearwheel engages. The drive can be performed by a gear pinion . Therefore, the lever carriage can be moved right or left to set the transmission ratio of the transmission lever .

The drive unit can integrate a stepping switch mechanism having a second cam control, which converts the rotational movement of the tensioning rotor into a linear movement for advancing the magazine . The stepping switch mechanism can comprise the link slide , which is mounted so it is movable in the radial direction on a guide . The link slide can carry a switching link on its upper side. Correspondingly shaped switching pins can be provided on the lower side of the magazine , which engage in the switching link from above to convert the radial movement of the link slide into a limited rotational movement of the magazine . The tensioning rotor can carry a switching cam on its outer side. A spring bow presses an actuating element of the link slide against the outer side of the tensioning rotor . As it travels over the switching cam , the link slide can follow the curved path formed by the switching cam so that the rotational movement of the tensioning rotor can be converted into a linear forward and reverse movement of the link slide. This short-stroke movement can be transmitted by the switching link to the magazine in order to rotate it one step further. Therefore, the next chamber having a new lancet can reach the functional position.

Further, the drive unit can comprise a device for generating a sample transfer movement perpendicular to the piercing axis. A pressure tappet can be mounted so it is vertically movable in a friction sleeve at a small distance from the edge of the tensioning rotor . The pressure tappet can be connected to a friction roller . A ramp , which the friction roller travels on the upper side of, can be implemented on the tensioning rotor in the area of the outer edge. If the tensioning rotor , driven by the electric motor , is set into slow rotation, the friction roller can reach the area of the ramp at a specific angle of the tensioning rotor and can begin to be displaced upward. The pressure tappet can thus move upward. After reaching the apex of the ramp , the friction roller and the pressure tappet can move back downward.

The movement executed by the pressure tappet can extend perpendicularly to the piercing axis, but can also comprise a movement component parallel to the piercing axis. The movement of the pressure tappet can be used for pressing the active lancet against a test element after the piercing in order to transfer the blood sample. The pressure tappet can subsequently retract again, whereby the lancet disengages again from the test element. A spring bow can ensure that the friction roller is spring-loaded against the upper side of the ramp so that it can ensure that the friction roller precisely follows the contour of the ramp .

The drive unit generates from the movement of a common central drive source, for example, the electric motor , all of the manifold movements required for obtaining and analyzing a blood sample. The force of the electric motor can be transmitted by a Y-shaped branched drivetrain to the lancet located in the functional position, the magazine , and the device for generating a sample transfer movement perpendicular to the piercing axis. The central element of this drive force transmission gearing can be the tensioning rotor which selectively distributes the force of the electric motor as a function of its rotational angle, specifically for tensioning the drive spring of the lancet drive, for actuating the link slide , or for raising the pressure tappet .

In and , the drive unit is shown reduced to the moving elements for better understanding. The common rotational axis , around which the tensioning rotor and the drive rotor rotate, can be positioned in the middle. On its lower side (see ), the tensioning rotor can have a gear ring , via which the drive force of the electric motor is transmitted to the tensioning rotor . The gearwheel engaging in the gear ring is omitted in this figure, as are the remaining elements of the drive force transmission gearing, which frictionally connects the tensioning rotor to the electric motor .

The tensioning rotor can have the basic shape of a flat disk and can have a central pot-like recess , seen best in . The drive rotor , which can be a flat circular disk, best seen in and , can be seated in this recess . A pawl , which can be a rocker, can be mounted so it is pivotable on the base of the pot-like recess of the tensioning rotor . A curved groove for the engagement of the locking pin and a recess , in which the pawl can engage, can be provided corresponding to the lower side of the drive rotor . The tensioning rotor and the drive rotor may thus alternately be connected rotationally fixed to one another in one rotational direction or can also latch rigidly with one another. If tensioning rotor and drive rotor are connected rotationally fixed to one another by means of pawl and locking pin , a rotational movement of the tensioning rotor can be transmitted directly to the drive rotor , so that it can also execute slow movements, as may be needed before and after a piercing.

The conversion of the rotational movement of the tensioning rotor into a second linear movement, which can be used for advancing the magazine (see ), can be performed by a switching cam , which is visible at the angle of the tensioning rotor shown in . A friction pin , which is provided on the lower side of the link slide , can travel down the switching cam . The spring bow can ensure a springy contact of the friction pin on the edge side of the tensioning rotor .

The outer edge of the tensioning rotor can be implemented as a flat flange pointing outward, similar to a brim of a hat. This edge can be thickened to a multiple of its thickness in the area of the ramp . If the friction roller travels down the ramp , the pressure tappet mounted in the friction sleeve can move perpendicularly upward to execute a sample transfer movement. The spring bow can ensure a uniform contact pressure by using the friction roller pressing on the edge of the tensioning rotor , in particular as it travels over the ramp .

In , the magazine is seated on the receptacle . The common rotational axis , around which the tensioning rotor , the drive rotor , and the magazine rotate is visible. The vertical section of goes centrally through one of the chambers positioned in a ring that are used to accommodate disposable lancets. The chamber can extend in the radial direction in relation to the rotational axis . The drive rod installed on the piercing carriage can still be located completely outside the chamber , but can penetrate into the rear of the chamber to execute a piercing, in order to couple onto the lancet stored therein and drive it forward in the radial direction in the direction of the opening .

The function of the pressure tappet shown in can be to penetrate through an entry opening from below into the chamber , in order to bring the lancet into contact with a test element after the piercing. Furthermore, the drive spring is visible seated between tensioning rotor and drive rotor .

In , a lancet is partially located in the chamber . The lancet can be manufactured from a piece of level flat sheet metal which can be elastically bendable around a bending axis extending transversely to the piercing axis. Because extends along the longitudinal axis of the lancet , only one half of the lancet is visible. The other half is implemented in a mirror image. At the front, the lancet can be ground sharp and can form a tip which can be adjoined by a capillary trough for receiving the blood sample. In the rear area, the lancet can have an eye to couple to the drive rod (see ).

The chamber can have a shaft adapted to the cross section of the lancet . In one embodiment in which the lancet can be manufactured from a level flat sheet metal, the shaft can have a substantially rectangular cross section having a height which can be minimally greater than the thickness of the lancet , which can slide back and forth with some play in the shaft . In the rear area, which points radially inward, the shaft can have a curvature which extends along the piercing axis.

According to , the drive rod has a hook on its front end, which can be hooked into the eye of the lancet (see ). The slot in the hook can be just large enough that the rear of the lancet can fit through it. On its rear end in the piercing direction, the drive rod can have a shaft with a fastening hole . The drive rod may thus be installed on the piercing carriage (see ).

The drive rod can be manufactured from a single piece of sheet steel. The drive rod can be significantly narrower than the lancet . To guide the drive rod in the chamber , its shaft can have a central guide groove , whose height and width can be adapted to the dimensions of the drive rod (cf. ). The relatively narrow drive rod can thus run in the middle of the shaft without the drive rod having to follow the curvature , which can only engages on the right and left on the lancet .

The elastically bendable lancet having eye , the chamber having shaft and curvature , and the drive rod having hook can form a lancet coupling mechanism in which the lancet can automatically couple onto the drive rod when the drive rod penetrates into the chamber and drives the lancet radially outward.

The coupling of the drive rod onto the lancet in the preparation phase of a piercing will be described in -. In , the drive rod can still be located outside the chamber . The lancet can be located completely in the shaft . The rear area of the lancet can be bent by the curvature perpendicularly out of the sheet metal plane, upward in the figure. The rear of the lancet can therefore protrude beyond the slot of the hook of the drive rod .

In , the drive rod has moved a small distance outward in the radial direction (to the left in the figure), it having penetrated from the rear into the chamber . The rear of the lancet can slip through the slot of the hook , so that the hook can now engage in the eye from below. The hooking of the eye can be assisted by the spring tension of the elastically bent lancet . If the drive rod penetrates further into the chamber , it can drive the lancet further in the radial direction outward out of the chamber . This is the rapid piercing movement to generate a small wound.

In , the lancet has left the area of the curvature (see ). The lancet can now be in the relaxed state and the hook can completely be hooked in the eye .

In , the lancet has reached its reversal point. This corresponds to the maximum piercing depth. The movement direction of the drive rod can now be reversed. The undercut of the hook can allow the drive rod not only to press the lancet forward, but also pull it to the rear, the formfitting connection between hook and eye being maintained. In the course of the further retraction of the drive rod and the appended lancet , the lancet can finally be automatically decoupled upon entering the area of the curvature . The procedure of decoupling can precisely correspond to the described coupling, but in the reverse direction. can correspond to the moment at which the hook releases the eye again.

The alternative embodiment of a lancet according to also has a tip and a capillary trough adjoining thereon. In contrast to the above-described lancet, the body of the lancet can be divided into two arms and , which can be implemented as mirror images. An eye or can be provided in the area of the end in each case, which can be used to couple on a drive rod equipped with two parallel hooks. This lancet can also be produced from a piece of level sheet metal that can be elastically bendable. The one arm may be bent elastically upward around a bending axis extending transversely to the piercing axis while the other arm can be bent downward in the opposite direction. To store the lancet in a magazine, the magazine chambers can each comprise a right shaft and a left shaft, one shaft being curved upward and the other shaft being curved downward.

The alternative embodiment of a lancet coupling mechanism shown in can have a magazine chamber having a shaft , which can be curved over its entire length around an axis transverse to the piercing direction. The lancet inserted into the shaft can correspondingly be elastically bent on its entire length and therefore also in the front area (on the left in the figure). An eye , which can provided close to the rear of the lancet and can move downward upon a movement of the lancet in the piercing direction (to the left in the figure) in accordance with the curvature of the shaft , can again be used for coupling and decoupling the lancet onto and from a drive rod. Because of the bending tension, the tip of the lancet can therefore be pressed downward and can be incident on a test panel positioned directly below the shaft . In this way, the blood received by the lancet during a piercing procedure can be automatically transferred onto the test panel without a further aid being required.

It is noted that terms like “preferably,” “commonly,” and “typically” are not utilized herein to limit the scope of the claimed embodiments or to imply that certain features are critical, essential, or even important to the structure or function of the claimed embodiments. Rather, these terms are merely intended to highlight alternative or additional features that may or may not be utilized in a particular embodiment of the present disclosure.

For the purposes of describing and defining the present disclosure, it is noted that the term “substantially” is utilized herein to represent the inherent degree of uncertainty that may be attributed to any quantitative comparison, value, measurement, or other representation. The term “substantially” is also utilized herein to represent the degree by which a quantitative representation may vary from a stated reference without resulting in a change in the basic function of the subject matter at issue.

Having described the present disclosure in detail and by reference to specific embodiments thereof, it will be apparent that modifications and variations are possible without departing from the scope of the disclosure defined in the appended claims. More specifically, although some aspects of the present disclosure are identified herein as preferred or particularly advantageous, it is contemplated that the present disclosure is not necessarily limited to these preferred aspects of the disclosure.