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United States Patent Application 20170284981
Kind Code A1
HANAFUSA; Nobuhiro ;   et al. October 5, 2017

PREPROCESSING DEVICE AND ANALYSIS SYSTEM PROVIDED WITH SAME

Abstract

The present invention provides a processing device with a high degree of flexibility in setting of preprocessing and which is capable of increasing the preprocessing efficiency, and an analysis system provided with the same. Setting receiving means (84d) receives, for each sample, setting of a plurality of types of preprocessing and a parameter for each preprocessing. A preprocessing execution section (84e) controls a plurality of preprocessing sections and a transport arm (24) so that a plurality of types of preprocessing set for each of different samples is performed simultaneously in parallel. The preprocessing execution section (84e) performs control in such a way that preprocessing is not to be performed on different samples at the same preprocessing section at the same.


Inventors: HANAFUSA; Nobuhiro; (Kyoto-shi, JP) ; SUZUKI; Kazuhiro; (Kyoto-shi, JP)
Applicant:
Name City State Country Type

SHIMADZU CORPORATION

Kyoto-shi, Kyoto

JP
Assignee: SHIMADZU CORPORATION
Kyoto-shi, Kyoto
JP

Family ID: 1000002736993
Appl. No.: 15/507297
Filed: September 2, 2014
PCT Filed: September 2, 2014
PCT NO: PCT/JP2014/073072
371 Date: February 28, 2017


Current U.S. Class: 1/1
Current CPC Class: G01N 30/24 20130101; G01N 1/10 20130101; G01N 35/04 20130101; G01N 30/36 20130101; G01N 27/62 20130101
International Class: G01N 30/24 20060101 G01N030/24; G01N 35/04 20060101 G01N035/04; G01N 30/36 20060101 G01N030/36; G01N 1/10 20060101 G01N001/10; G01N 27/62 20060101 G01N027/62

Claims



1. A preprocessing device comprising: a setting receiving section for receiving, for each sample, setting of a plurality of types of preprocessing and a parameter for each preprocessing; a plurality of preprocessing sections, each being provided for performing the plurality of types of preprocessing; a transport section for sequentially transporting, between the plurality of preprocessing sections, a plurality of containers including a separation container with a separating layer through which a specific component in a sample is separated and a collection container for collecting a sample extracted by the separating layer; and a preprocessing execution section for controlling the plurality of preprocessing sections and the transport section so that a plurality of types of preprocessing set for each of different samples are performed simultaneously in parallel, wherein the preprocessing execution section performs control in such a way that preprocessing is not to be performed on different samples at a same preprocessing section at a same time.

2. An analysis system comprising: the preprocessing device according to claim 1; a liquid chromatograph into which a sample extracted by the preprocessing device is to be introduced; and a control section for automatically controlling the preprocessing device and the liquid chromatograph in coordination with each other.

3. An analysis system comprising: the preprocessing device according to claim 1; a mass spectrometry device into which a sample extracted by the preprocessing device is to be introduced; and a control section for automatically controlling the preprocessing device and the mass spectrometry device in coordination with each other.

4. The analysis system according to claim 2, wherein the control section shifts an execution start timing of a plurality of types of preprocessing for each sample according to an analysis completion timing of each sample at the liquid chromatograph, such that analyses of different samples at the liquid chromatograph are not performed simultaneously.

5. The analysis system according to claim 3, wherein the control section shifts an execution start timing of a plurality of types of preprocessing for each sample according to an analysis completion timing of each sample at the mass spectrometry device, such that analyses of different samples at the mass spectrometry device are not performed simultaneously.
Description



TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] The present invention relates to a preprocessing device for collecting a sample extracted by a separation container into a collection container and for preprocessing the sample, and an analysis system provided with the same.

BACKGROUND ART

[0002] For example, at the time of analyzing a component contained in a sample of biological origin, such as whole blood, blood serum, a dried blood spot or urine, analysis is sometimes performed after preprocessing the sample by a preprocessing device. For example, the preprocessing is a process of removing a specific component in the sample, which is not necessary for analysis, and extracting a necessary component, or a process of condensing or drying an extracted sample. Various structures are conventionally proposed as a preprocessing device for automatically performing such preprocessing (for example, see Patent Document 1).

[0003] For example, Patent Document 1 discloses a structure according to which a plurality of cartridges (separation containers) is held and transported by a common transport mechanism, each cartridge containing a separating agent through which a specific component in a sample is separated. The plurality of cartridges is sequentially transported by the transport mechanism to a pressure application mechanism provided at a predetermined position, and samples are extracted by application of pressure by the pressure application mechanism. A plurality of receiving containers (collection containers) for receiving extracted liquid from the cartridges is transported, at below the cartridges, by a transport mechanism different from that of the cartridges, and extraction of samples is continuously performed.

PRIOR ART DOCUMENTS

Patent Documents

[0004] Patent Document 1: JP 2010-60474 A

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Problems to be Solved by the Invention

[0005] With a conventional preprocessing device as disclosed in Patent Document 1, in the case of performing a plurality of types of preprocessing on each sample, a plurality of separation containers held by a transport mechanism is sequentially transported to predetermined positions associated with corresponding preprocessing, and the preprocessing is sequentially performed at each position. Accordingly, if preprocessing of a sample takes much time, preprocessing of other samples cannot proceed forward, and a wasteful wait time is possibly caused.

[0006] Accordingly, with the conventional preprocessing device, flexibility in preprocessing that can be performed on each sample and in setting of a parameter for each preprocessing is low, and it is difficult to efficiently perform a wide variety of types of preprocessing on samples simultaneously in parallel.

[0007] The present invention has been made in view of the above circumstances, and its object is to provide a preprocessing device that has a high degree of flexibility in setting of preprocessing and is capable of increasing the preprocessing efficiency, and an analysis system provided with the same.

Means for Solving the Problems

[0008] A preprocessing device of the present invention includes a setting receiving section, a plurality of preprocessing sections, a transport section and a preprocessing execution section. The setting receiving section receives, for each sample, setting of a plurality of types of preprocessing and a parameter for each preprocessing. The plurality of preprocessing sections are each provided for performing the plurality of types of preprocessing. The transport section sequentially transports, between the plurality of preprocessing sections, a plurality of containers including a separation container with a separating layer through which a specific component in a sample is separated and a collection container for collecting a sample extracted by the separating layer. The preprocessing execution section controls the plurality of preprocessing sections and the transport section so that a plurality of types of preprocessing set for each of different samples are performed simultaneously in parallel. The preprocessing execution section performs control in such a way that preprocessing is not to be performed on different samples at a same preprocessing section at a same time.

[0009] According to this configuration, any containers may be sequentially transported by the transport section to the plurality of preprocessing sections, and preprocessing may be performed at the preprocessing sections simultaneously in parallel. Therefore, even if preprocessing of a sample takes much time, preprocessing of other samples can proceed forward, thereby preventing a wasteful wait time.

[0010] Moreover, a plurality of types of preprocessing and a parameter for each preprocessing may be set for each sample, and thus, a wide variety of types of preprocessing may be performed on each sample. Also in such a case, any containers may be sequentially transported by the transport section to the plurality of preprocessing sections and preprocessing may be performed. Further, because control is performed in such a way that preprocessing is not to be performed on different samples at the same preprocessing section at the same time, not only a high degree of flexibility in setting of preprocessing may be achieved but also the preprocessing efficiency may be increased.

[0011] An analysis system of the present invention includes the preprocessing device, a liquid chromatograph into which a sample extracted by the preprocessing device is to be introduced, and a control section for automatically controlling the preprocessing device and the liquid chromatograph in coordination with each other.

[0012] Also, an analysis system of the present invention includes the preprocessing device, a mass spectrometry device into which a sample extracted by the preprocessing device is to be introduced, and a control section for automatically controlling the preprocessing device and the mass spectrometry device in coordination with each other.

[0013] The control section may shift an execution start timing of a plurality of types of preprocessing for each sample according to an analysis completion timing of each sample at the liquid chromatograph or the mass spectrometry device, such that analyses of different samples at the liquid chromatograph or the mass spectrometry device are not performed simultaneously.

[0014] According to this configuration, because the execution start timing of a plurality of types of preprocessing for each sample is shifted according to the analysis completion timing of each sample at the liquid chromatograph or the mass spectrometry device, occurrence of a wasteful wait time after completion of preprocessing of each sample until start of analysis may be prevented. If there is a long wait time after completion of preprocessing, the property of the sample is possibly changed. Thus, if occurrence of a wait time after completion of preprocessing is prevented, a more desirable analysis result may be obtained.

Effects of the Invention

[0015] According to the present invention, any containers may be sequentially transported by the transport section to a plurality of preprocessing sections and preprocessing may be performed. Moreover, because control is performed in such a way that preprocessing is not to be performed on different samples at the same preprocessing section at the same time, not only a high degree of flexibility in setting of preprocessing may be achieved but also the preprocessing efficiency may be increased.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0016] FIG. 1 is a schematic front view showing an example structure of an analysis system according to an embodiment of the present invention.

[0017] FIG. 2 is a plan view showing an example structure of a preprocessing device.

[0018] FIG. 3A is a side view showing an example structure of a separation container.

[0019] FIG. 3B is a plan view of the separation container shown in FIG. 3A.

[0020] FIG. 3C is a cross-sectional view showing a cross-section taken along line A-A in FIG. 3B.

[0021] FIG. 4A is a side view showing an example structure of a collection container.

[0022] FIG. 4B is a plan view of the collection container in FIG. 4A.

[0023] FIG. 4C is a cross-sectional view showing a cross-section taken along line B-B in FIG. 4B.

[0024] FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view showing a preprocessing kit in a state where the separation container and the collection container are piled up.

[0025] FIG. 6A is a plan view showing an example structure of a filtration port.

[0026] FIG. 6B is a cross-sectional view showing a cross-section taken along line X-X in FIG. 6A.

[0027] FIG. 6C is a cross-sectional view showing a cross-section taken along line Y-Y in FIG. 6A.

[0028] FIG. 6D is a cross-sectional view showing a state where the preprocessing kit is installed in the filtration port.

[0029] FIG. 7 is a schematic view showing an example structure of a negative pressure application mechanism.

[0030] FIG. 8 is a block diagram showing an example of an electrical configuration of an analysis system.

[0031] FIG. 9A is a flowchart showing example operation of the preprocessing device.

[0032] FIG. 9B is a flowchart showing the example operation of the preprocessing device.

[0033] FIG. 10 is a diagram showing an example of an aspect in performing preprocessing on different samples simultaneously in parallel.

MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION

[0034] FIG. 1 is a schematic front view showing an example structure of an analysis system according to an embodiment of the present invention. The analysis system includes a preprocessing device 1, a liquid chromatograph (LC) 100, and a mass spectrometry device (MS) 200, and a sample which is subjected to preprocessing by the preprocessing device 1 is sequentially introduced into the LC 100 and the MS 200 and is analyzed. That is, the analysis system according to the present embodiment is structured by connecting a liquid chromatograph mass spectrometry device (LC/MS) to the preprocessing device 1. However, such a structure is not restrictive, and one of the LC 100 and the MS 200 may be omitted so that a sample which is subjected to preprocessing by the preprocessing device 1 is introduced into only one of the LC 100 and the MS 200.

[0035] The preprocessing device 1 performs various types of preprocessing, such as sample dispensing, reagent dispensing, agitation, and filtration, on a sample of biological origin, such as whole blood, blood serum, a dried blood spot, or urine. A sample extracted by such preprocessing is introduced into the LC 100 through an autosampler 101 which is provided to the LC 100. The LC 100 is provided with a column (not shown), and sample components separated in the process of the sample passing through the column are sequentially introduced into the MS 200. The MS 200 includes an ionization section 201 for ionizing a sample introduced from the LC 100, and a mass spectrometry section 202 for analyzing an ionized sample.

[0036] The preprocessing device 1 is provided with an operation display section 1a including a touch panel, for example. An analyst is allowed to perform input regarding operation of the preprocessing device 1 by performing operation on a display screen of the operation display section 1a, and is also allowed to check information about operation of the preprocessing device 1 displayed on the display screen of the operation display section 1a. Additionally, the structure where the operation display section 1a of a touch panel type is provided is not restrictive, and a display section structured by a liquid crystal display, and an operation section structured by operation keys or the like may be separately provided.

[0037] FIG. 2 is a plan view showing an example structure of the preprocessing device 1. The preprocessing device 1 uses one preprocessing kit, which is a set of a separation container 50 and a collection container 54, for each sample, and performs a preprocessing item (sample dispensing, reagent dispensing, agitation, filtration, etc.) set for each preprocessing kit. The preprocessing device 1 is provided with a plurality of processing ports for performing respective preprocessing items, and by installing a preprocessing kit containing a sample in one of the processing ports, the preprocessing item corresponding to the processing port is performed on the sample contained in the preprocessing kit.

[0038] As the processing ports, filtration ports 30, a dispensing port 32, a discard port 34, agitation ports 36a, temperature adjustment ports 38, 40, a transfer port 43, a washing port 45 and the like are provided in correspondence with the preprocessing items. These processing ports form a plurality of preprocessing sections for performing a plurality of preprocessing items. The preprocessing items here are types of preprocessing necessary to analyze analysis items specified by an analyst.

[0039] The separation container 50 and the collection container 54 forming the preprocessing kit is transported between the processing ports by a transport arm 24 as a transport section. A holding section 25 for holding the separation container 50 and the collection container 54 is formed on a tip end side of the transport arm 24. A base end portion side of the transport arm 24 is rotatably held around a vertical shaft 29. The transport arm 24 extends in a horizontal direction, and moves in such a way that the holding section 25 draws an arch on a horizontal plane when the transport arm 24 rotates around the vertical shaft 29. Each of the processing ports and other ports, which are transport destinations of the separation container 50 and the collection container 54, are all provided on the arch-shaped track which is drawn by the holding section 25.

[0040] A sample is dispensed into the preprocessing kit from a sample container 6. A plurality of sample containers 6 containing samples may be installed in a sample installation section 2, and samples are sequentially collected from the sample containers 6 by a sampling arm 20 as a sampling section. A plurality of sample racks 4 for holding a plurality of sample containers 6 are installed next to one another in a circle at the sample installation section 2. The sample installation section 2 rotates on the horizontal plane to move the sample racks 4 in a circumferential direction. The sample containers 6 may thus be sequentially moved to a predetermined sampling position. The sampling position here is on the track of a sampling nozzle 20a provided at a tip end portion of the sampling arm 20, and a sample is collected from the sample container 6 by the sampling nozzle 20a at the sampling position.

[0041] The sampling arm 20 is capable of rotating on the horizontal plane, around a vertical shaft 22 provided on a base end portion side, and of moving up and down in a vertical direction along the vertical shaft 22. The sampling nozzle 20a is held at the tip end portion of the sampling arm 20, facing downward in the vertical direction, and moves according to operation of the sampling arm 20 so as to draw an arch on the horizontal plane or to move up and down in the vertical direction.

[0042] The dispensing port 32 is provided on the track of the sampling nozzle 20a, at a position on the track of the holding section 25 of the transport arm 24. The dispensing port 32 is a port for dispensing a sample into an unused separation container 50 from the sampling nozzle 20a. An unused separation container 50 is transported to the dispensing port 32 by the transport arm 24.

[0043] A reagent installation section 8 for installing reagent containers 10 is provided at a center portion of the sample installation section 2 where the sample racks 4 are arranged next to one another in a circle. A reagent in the reagent container 10 installed in the reagent installation section 8 is collected by a reagent arm 26. The reagent arm 26 has its base end portion supported by the vertical shaft 29, which is common with that of the transport arm 24, and is capable of rotating on the horizontal plane around the vertical shaft 29, and of moving up and down in the vertical direction along the vertical shaft 29. A reagent addition nozzle 26a is held at a tip end portion of the reagent arm 26, facing downward in the vertical direction, and the reagent addition nozzle 26a moves according to operation of the reagent arm 26 so as to draw the same arch as the holding section 25 of the transport arm 24 on the horizontal plane or to move up and down in the vertical direction.

[0044] The reagent installation section 8 is capable of rotating on the horizontal plane independently of the sample installation section 2. A plurality of reagent containers 10 is arranged next to one another in a circle at the reagent installation section 8, and each reagent container 10 moves in the circumferential direction when the reagent installation section 8 is rotated. A desired reagent container 10 may thereby be moved to a predetermined reagent collection position. The reagent collection position is on the track of the reagent addition nozzle 26a provided at the tip end portion of the reagent arm 26, and a reagent is collected by the reagent addition nozzle 26a from the reagent container 10 at the reagent collection position. A reagent in the reagent container 10 is sucked into the reagent addition nozzle 26a, and is then dispensed into the separation container 50 installed at the dispensing port 32, and is thus added to the sample in the separation container 50.

[0045] The separation container 50 and the collection container 54 are held by a container holding section 12 provided at a different position from the sample installation section 2 and the reagent installation section 8. A plurality of preprocessing kits, each of which is a set of unused separation container 50 and collection container 54 that are piled up, are arranged next to one another in a circle at the container holding section 12. The container holding section 12 is provided with a rotating section 14, which rotates on the horizontal plane, and a plurality of container racks 16 which is detachably mounted to the rotating section 14.

[0046] Each container rack 16 is capable of holding a plurality of preprocessing kits. The plurality of container racks 16 are arranged next to one another in a circle on the rotating section 14. An annular holding region for holding a plurality of preprocessing kits is formed by the plurality of container racks 16 arranged next to one another in a circle. The rotating section 14 rotates on the horizontal plane to thereby shift each container rack 16 in the circumferential direction of the holding region. A plurality of preprocessing kits may thereby be sequentially moved to a predetermined transport position. The transport position here is on the track of the holding section 25 provided at the tip end portion of the transport arm 24, and the separation container 50 or the collection container 54 is held by the holding section 25 at the transport position to be transported to a transport destination port.

[0047] By dividing and holding the preprocessing kits by a plurality of container racks 16 in this manner, each container rack 16 is allowed to be individually mounted to or dismounted from the rotating section 14. Accordingly, even while processing is performed on the separation container 50 or the collection container 54 which is held by one of the container racks 16, other container racks 16 may be mounted or dismounted and other tasks may be performed, and thus, the preprocessing efficiency may be increased.

[0048] Additionally, the separation container 50 and the collection container 54 do not necessarily have to be held by the container holding section 12 through the container rack 16, and may alternatively be held directly by the container holding section 12, for example. Also, the separation container 50 and the collection container 54 do not necessarily have to be held by the container holding section 12 in a state where they are piled up, and the separation container 50 and the collection container 54 may alternatively be held separately from each other. Moreover, the plurality of container racks 16 do not necessarily have to be arranged next to one another in a circle, and may alternatively be arranged next to one another in an arch, for example. In this case, a plurality of separation containers 50 and collection containers 54 are held in an arch-shaped holding region instead of an annular holding region.

[0049] An analyst may install, at the container holding section 12, a plurality of types (for example, two types) of separation containers 50 with separating layers of different separation performances. These separation containers 50 are used according to the sample analysis items, and a separation container 50 corresponding to the analysis item specified by the analyst is selected and transported from the container holding section 12. The analysis item here is the type of analysis which is to be sequentially performed using a sample which has been subjected to preprocessing by the preprocessing device 1, and is the type of analysis to be performed by the LC 100 or the MS 200, for example.

[0050] FIG. 3A is a side view showing an example structure of the separation container 50. FIG. 3B is a plan view of the separation container 50 in FIG. 3A. FIG. 3C is a cross-sectional view showing a cross-section along A-A in FIG. 3B. FIG. 4A is a side view showing an example structure of the collection container 54. FIG. 4B is a plan view of the collection container 54 in FIG. 4A. FIG. 4C is a cross-sectional view showing a cross-section along B-B in FIG. 4B. FIG. 5 is a cross-sectional view showing a preprocessing kit in a state where the separation container 50 and the collection container 54 are piled up.

[0051] As shown in FIGS. 3A to 3C, the separation container 50 is a cylindrical container having an inner space 50a for containing a sample or a reagent. A separating layer 52 is provided at a bottom portion of the inner space 50a. The separating layer 52 is a separating agent or a separating film having a function of selectively separating a specific component in a sample by letting a sample pass through and by physically or chemically reacting with the specific component, for example.

[0052] As the separating agent forming the separating layer 52, ion exchange resin, silica gel, cellulose, or activated carbon may be used, for example. Also, as the separating film, a polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) film, a nylon film, a polypropylene film, a polyvinylidene difluoride film (PVDF) film, an acrylic copolymer film, a mixed cellulose film, a nitrocellulose film, a polyethersulfone film, an ion exchange film, or a glass fiber film may be used, for example.

[0053] As a deproteinization filter (separating film) for removing protein in a sample by filtration, a PTFE or acrylic copolymer film may be used, for example. In this case, to prevent clogging of the deproteinization filter, a pre-filter (not shown) may be provide on an upper side of the separating layer 52. As the pre-filter, a nylon film, a polypropylene film, or a glass fiber film may be used, for example. The pre-filter is for removing insoluble substances and foreign substances with relatively large particle diameters from a sample. The deproteinization filter may be prevented, by this pre-filter, from being clogged with insoluble substances and foreign substances with relatively large particle diameters.

[0054] An opening 50b for injecting a sample or a reagent is formed at an upper surface of the separation container 50. Also, an extraction opening 50d for extracting a sample which has passed through the separating layer 52 is formed at a lower surface of the separation container 50. A flange section 50c for engaging with the holding section 25 of the transport arm 24 is formed at an upper portion of an outer circumferential surface of the separation container 50, protruding in the circumferential direction.

[0055] A skirt section 51 which contacts the edge of the filtration port 30 when the separation container 50 is accommodated, together with the collection container 54, in the filtration port 30 is provided at a center portion of the outer circumferential surface of the separation container 50. The skirt section 51 is formed to have an L shape in cross-section, and protrudes in the circumferential direction from the outer circumferential surface of the separation container 50 and extends downward, and thereby forms a certain space to the outer circumferential surface of the separation container 50.

[0056] As shown in FIGS. 4A to 4C and FIG. 5, the collection container 54 is a cylindrical container for accommodating a lower portion of the separation container 50, and for collecting a sample extracted from the extraction opening 50d of the separation container 50. An opening 54b for inserting the lower portion of the separation container 50 is formed to an upper surface of the collection container 54. An inner space 54a for accommodating a part of the separation container 50 lower than the skirt section 51 is formed inside the collection container 54. As with the separation container 50, a flange section 54c for engaging with the holding section 25 of the transport arm 24 is formed at an upper portion of an outer circumferential surface of the collection container 54, protruding in the circumferential direction.

[0057] As shown in FIG. 5, in a state where the separation container 50 and the collection container 54 are piled up, the upper portion of the collection container 54 is placed inside the skirt section 51. The outer diameter of the separation container 50 is smaller than the inner diameter of the collection container 54. Accordingly, a small gap is formed between the outer circumferential surface of the separation container 50 accommodated in the inner space 54a of the collection container 54 and the inner circumferential surface of the collection container 54. The separation container 50 and the collection container 54 are installed in the container holding section 12 with the lower portion of the separation container 50 accommodated inside the collection container 54 (the state shown in FIG. 5).

[0058] Three cut-outs 54d are formed to the edge of the upper surface of the collection container 54. Accordingly, when the separation container 50 and the collection container 54 are piled up as shown in FIG. 5, the inside and the outside of the collection container 54 may be communicated through the cut-outs 54 even in a state where the upper surface of the collection container 54 is in contact with the inner surface of the skirt section 51. Additionally, the number of cut-outs 54d is not limited to three, and it may be two or less, or four or more. Also, a small hole may be formed instead of the cut-out 54d.

[0059] Referring back to FIG. 2, the filtration ports 30 are provided on the inside the container holding section 12. That is, an annular or arch-shaped holding region is formed by the plurality of container racks 16 arranged next to one another on the outer circumference of the filtration ports 30, and a plurality of separation containers 50 and collection containers 54 are held in the holding region. In this manner, because the holding region of the separation containers 50 and the collection containers 54 is formed into an annular or arch shape, and an installation space for the filtration ports 30 is secured in a vacant space at the center portion of the holding region, a more compact structure may be achieved.

[0060] Particularly, in the present embodiment, because the separation container 50 and the collection container 54 are held in the holding region in a state where they are piled up, separate holding regions do not have to be provided for the separation container 50 and the collection container 54. Therefore, a greater number of separation containers 50 and collection containers 54 may be held in a small holding region. Accordingly, the holding region for the separation containers 50 and the collection containers 54 may be made even smaller, and a more compact structure may be achieved.

[0061] Furthermore, by providing the filtration ports 30 at the center portion of the holding region which is formed into an annular or arch shape, the distances between the plurality of separation containers 50 and collection containers 54 held in the holding region and the filtration ports 30 may be made relatively small. Accordingly, the time required to transport the separation container 50 and the collection container 54 to the filtration port 30 may be reduced, and the preprocessing efficiency may be increased.

[0062] The filtration port 30 forms a filtration section for separating a sample by the separating layer 52 by applying pressure to a sample in the separation container 50. In the present embodiment, two filtration ports 30 are provided next to each other on the track of the holding section 25 of the transport arm 24, for example. The separation container 50 and the collection container 54 are installed in each filtration port 30 in a state where they are piled up as shown in FIG. 5, and a sample separated by the separating layer 52 in the separation container 50 by a negative pressure is collected by the collection container 54. Additionally, the separation container 50 and the collection container 54 do not necessarily have to be installed in the filtration port 30 in a state where they are piled up, and the separation container 50 and the collection container 54 may alternatively be installed separately. Also, the number of the filtration ports 30 is not limited to two, and it may be one or three or more.

[0063] Three agitation ports 36a are provided to an agitation section 36 provided near the container holding section 12, next to one another on the track of the holding section 25 of the transport arm 24, for example. The agitation section 36 has a mechanism for periodically and separately operating each of the agitation ports 36a on the horizontal plane. A sample in the separation container 50 disposed in each agitation port 36a may by agitated by such a mechanism. Additionally, the number of the agitation ports 36a is not limited to three, and it may be two or less, or four or more.

[0064] The temperature adjustment port 38, 40 is provided to a thermally conductive block temperature of which is controlled by a heater and a Peltier device, for example, and the temperature of the separation container 50 or the collection container 54 accommodated in the temperature adjustment port 38, 40 is adjusted to a certain temperature. The temperature adjustment port 38 is for the separation container 50, and four temperature adjustment ports 38 are arranged next to one another on the track of the holding section 25 of the transport arm 24, for example. The temperature adjustment port 40 is for the collection container 54, and like the temperature adjustment ports 38 for the separation containers 50, four temperature adjustment ports 40 are arranged next to one another on the track of the holding section 25 of the transport arm 24, for example. Additionally, the number of the temperature adjustment ports 38, 40 is not limited to four, and it may be three or less, or five or more.

[0065] FIG. 6A is a plan view showing an example structure of the filtration port 30. FIG. 6B is a cross-sectional view showing a cross-section along X-X in FIG. 6A. FIG. 6C is a cross-sectional view showing a cross-section along Y-Y in FIG. 6A. FIG. 6D is a cross-sectional view showing a state where the preprocessing kit is installed in the filtration port 30.

[0066] The filtration port 30 is formed as a recessed section, for example, and the recessed section forms an installation space 30a for installing the preprocessing kit. That is, as shown in FIG. 6D, the separation container 50 and the collection container 54 transported by the transport arm 24 from the container holding section 12 are installed in the installation space 30a in a state where they are piled up. At this time, the collection container 54 is accommodated first in the installation space 30a, and then, the lower portion of the separation container 50 is accommodated in the inner space 54a of the collection container 54.

[0067] A holding member 31 for sandwiching and holding the collection container 54 is provided inside the filtration port 30. The holding member 31 is a U-shaped metal member which is open at the top, for example, and two arm sections extending upward form two leaf springs which are capable of elastically shifting in an inner diameter direction of the filtration port 30. The two leaf spring portions of the holding member 31 are curved or bent inward in such a way that the gap between the two is the smallest at a part between upper end portions and lower end portions, for example. The gap between the two leaf spring portions is greater than the outer diameter of the collection container 54 at the upper end portions and the lower end portions, and smaller than the outer diameter of the collection container 54 at the part where the gap is the smallest.

[0068] Due to the shape of the holding member 31 as described above, when the collection container 54 is inserted into the installation space 30a of the filtration port 30, the two leaf spring portions of the holding member 31 are opened as the collection container 54 is lowered, and the collection container 54 is held in the installation space 30a by the elastic force. The collection container 54 is equally pressed from two opposite directions by the two leaf spring portions of the holding member 31, and is held at a center portion of the installation space 30a. The holding member 31 is fixed inside the installation space 30a, and is prevented from being lifted together with the collection container 54 at the time of removal of the collection container 54.

[0069] A ring-shaped sealing member 60 having elasticity is provided at an edge of an opening section at an upper surface of the filtration port 30. The sealing member 60 is fitted in a pit provided at the edge of the opening section at the upper surface of the filtration port 30, for example. The material of the sealing member 60 is an elastic material such as silicone rubber or ethylene propylene rubber (EPDM), for example. When the collection container 54 and the separation container 50 are installed inside the installation space 30a of the filtration port 30, the lower end of the skirt section 51 of the separation container 50 comes into contact with the sealing member 60, and the installation space 30a is sealed by the skirt section 51. Additionally, the contact portion of the separation container 50 to the sealing member 60 is not limited to a member having the shape of the skirt section 51, and contact sections having various shapes, such as a flange section, are allowed, for example.

[0070] A channel 56 for reducing pressure communicates with the installation space 30a from a bottom surface of the filtration port 30. A channel 57 of a negative pressure application mechanism 55 is connected to the channel 56. The negative pressure application mechanism 55 includes a vacuum pump, for example, and forms a negative pressure application section which applies a negative pressure inside the installation space 30a. When the pressure inside the installation space 30a is reduced by the negative pressure application mechanism 55 in a state where the separation container 50 and the collection container 54 are accommodated in the filtration port 30, the pressure inside the installation space 30a becomes negative.

[0071] The inner space 54a of the collection container 54 communicates with the installation space 30a with negative pressure through the cut-outs 54d of the collection container 54 and the gap between the inner circumferential surface of the collection container 54 and the outer circumferential surface of the separation container 50. The upper surface of the separation container 50 is open to the atmosphere, and thus, a pressure difference is caused between the inner space 50a of the separation container 50 and the inner space 54a of the collection container 54 across the separating layer 52. Accordingly, only the component, of a sample contained in the inner space 50a of the separation container 50, which can pass through the separating layer 52 is separated by the separating layer 52 by the pressure difference, and is extracted into the inner space 54a side of the collection container 54.

[0072] FIG. 7 is a schematic view showing an example structure of the negative pressure application mechanism 55. Two filtration ports 30 are connected to a common vacuum tank 66. Each filtration port 30 and the vacuum tank 66 are connected by the channel 57, and a pressure sensor 62 and a three-way valve 64 are provided to each channel 57. The pressure inside the installation space 30a of each filtration port 30 is detected by the pressure sensor 62. Each three-way valve 64 is capable of switching to any one of a state where the filtration port 30 and the vacuum tank 66 are connected, a state where the channel 57 is open to the atmosphere on the side of the filtration port 30 (the state shown in FIG. 7), and a state where an end portion of the channel 57 on the side of the filtration port 30 is sealed.

[0073] A pressure sensor 68 is connected to the vacuum tank 66, and also, a vacuum pump 58 is connected to the vacuum tank 66 through a three-way valve 70. Accordingly, by switching the three-way valve 70, the vacuum pump 58 may be connected to the vacuum tank 66 as necessary to adjust the pressure inside the vacuum tank 66.

[0074] When performing a sample extraction process at one of the filtration ports 30, the filtration port 30 and the vacuum tank 66 are connected, and the value of the pressure sensor 62 detecting the pressure inside the installation space 30a of the filtration port 30 is adjusted to be a predetermined value. Then, an end portion of the channel 57 on the side of the filtration port 30 is sealed. The installation space 30a of the filtration port 30 thereby becomes a sealed system, and extraction of a sample is performed by the inside of the installation space 30a being maintained in the reduced pressure state.

[0075] Referring back to FIG. 2, the preprocessing device 1 is provided with a sample transfer section 42 for transferring a sample extracted into the collection container 54 to the autosampler 101 side. The sample transfer section 42 includes a moving section 44 which moves in one direction (an arrow direction in FIG. 2) on the horizontal plane, and a transfer port 43 for installing the collection container 54 is provided on an upper surface of the moving section 44. The moving section 44 moves by operation of a drive mechanism including a rack and pinion mechanism, for example.

[0076] While a sample is not transferred to the autosampler 101 side, the transfer port 43 is arranged on the track of the holding section 25 of the transport arm 24 (the position shown by a solid line in FIG. 2). Installation of the collection container 54 in the transfer port 43 by the transport arm 24, and collection of the collection container 54 from the transfer port 43 are performed in this state.

[0077] At the time of transfer of a sample to the autosampler 101 side, the collection container 54 containing the extracted sample is installed in the transfer port 43, and then, the moving section 44 moves in an outward direction of the preprocessing device 1, and the transfer port 43 is arranged at a position adjacent to the autosampler 101 (the position shown by a broken line in FIG. 2). The sample inside the collection container 54 is sucked in, in this state, by a nozzle for sampling provided to the autosampler 101.

[0078] When suction of the sample by the autosampler 101 is ended, the moving section 44 is returned to the original position (the position shown by the solid line in FIG. 2), and the collection container 54 is collected by the transport arm 24. The used collection container 54 is transported to the discard port 34 by the transport arm 24, and is discarded. The discard port 34 is arranged near the dispensing port 32, on the track of the holding section 25 of the transport arm 24, and used separation containers 50 and collection containers 54 are discarded.

[0079] The washing port 45 for washing the sampling nozzle 20a is provided on the track of the sampling nozzle 20a. Additionally, although not shown, a washing port for washing the reagent addition nozzle 26a is provided on the track of the reagent addition nozzle 26a.

[0080] FIG. 8 is a block diagram showing an example of an electrical configuration of the analysis system. In the following description, a "port" means one of a plurality of types of ports where the separation container 50 or the collection container 54 is to be installed, such as the filtration port 30, the dispensing port 32, the agitation port 36a, the temperature adjustment port 38, 40, or the transfer port 43.

[0081] Operation of the operation display section 1a, the sample installation section 2, the reagent installation section 8, the container holding section 12, the sampling arm 20, the transport arm 24, the reagent arm 26, the agitation section 36, the sample transfer section 42, and the negative pressure application mechanism 55 provided to the preprocessing device 1 is controlled by a control section 84. The control section 84 includes, for example, a central processing unit (CPU) and functions of preprocessing means 84a, processing status management means 84b, random access means 84c, setting receiving means 84d, and the like are realized by the CPU executing programs.

[0082] An arithmetic processing device 90 configured by a personal computer (PC) or a dedicated computer, for example, is connected to the control section 84, and an analyst may manage the preprocessing device 1 by the arithmetic processing device 90. The LC 100 and the MS 200 for performing analysis of a sample which has been subjected to preprocessing by the preprocessing device 1, the autosampler 101 for injecting a sample into the LC 100, and the like are connected to the arithmetic processing device 90, in addition to the preprocessing device 1, and these devices may be automatically controlled in coordination with one another by the arithmetic processing device 90.

[0083] As described above, a plurality of sample containers is installed in the sample installation section 2, and samples contained in these sample containers are sequentially dispensed into the separation containers 50, and the separation containers 50 are transported to ports corresponding to the preprocessing items to be performed on the samples. The preprocessing means 84a performs a predetermined process corresponding to the port when the separation container 50 or the collection container 54 is installed in each port.

[0084] The random access means 84c checks the status of preprocessing at each port, and controls the operation of the transport arm 24 so that a separation container 50 preprocessing of which at a port is completed is transported to a port where next preprocessing is to be performed. That is, the random access means 84c checks the preprocessing items to be performed next on each sample, checks the vacancy status of the port corresponding to the preprocessing item, and if there is vacancy, the separation container 50 or the collection container 54 containing the sample is transported to the port. Also, if the port corresponding to the preprocessing item to be performed next on a sample is not vacant, the random access means 84c causes the target separation container 50 or collection container 54 to be transported to the port as soon as the port becomes vacant.

[0085] The processing status management means 84b manages the vacancy status of each port and the processing status at each port. The vacancy status of each port may be managed by memorizing the port where the separation container 50 or the collection container 54 was installed. Moreover, a sensor for detecting whether the separation container 50 or the collection container 54 is installed in each port or not may be provided, and the vacancy status of each port may be managed based on a signal from the sensor.

[0086] The processing status at each port may be managed based on whether a time required for preprocessing which is being performed at a port has passed since installation of the separation container 50 or the collection container 54 in the port. The status of processing at the transfer port 43 (suction of a sample by the autosampler 101) may be managed based on whether a signal indicating that sample suction has ended is received from the autosampler 101 side or not.

[0087] Now, there are provided two filtration ports 30, three agitation ports 36a, four temperature adjustment ports 38, and four temperature adjustment ports 40, and ports which perform the same preprocessing are prioritized, and the random access means 84c is configured to use ports from one with the highest priority. For example, at the time of performing filtration of a sample, if both of the two filtration ports 30 are vacant, the collection container 54 is installed in the filtration port 30 with higher priority, and the separation container 50 is installed on the collection container 54.

[0088] At the time of analysis of a sample, an analyst operates the operation display section 1a and selects an analysis item for the sample. An analysis item is selected based on the name of a component which is the target of analysis by the LC 100 or the MS 200, for example. Moreover, an analyst may perform setting and selection of a preprocessing item which is necessary to perform a selected analysis item, by operating the operation display section 1a. That is, setting may be performed such that one or a plurality of any preprocessing items are selected for a selected analysis item and be performed at the preprocessing device 1.

[0089] At this time, the analyst may set a parameter for each preprocessing item by operating the operation display section al. For example, a parameter such as the amount of dispensing is set for a dispensing process for a sample or a reagent, a parameter such as an agitation time or an agitation speed is set for an agitation process, and a parameter such as a filtration time or the type of a separation container 50 to be used is set for a filtration process. At this time, the setting receiving means 84d functions as a setting receiving section for receiving, for each sample, setting of a plurality of types of preprocessing and a parameter for each preprocessing.

[0090] The preprocessing means 84a, the processing status management means 84b, and the random access means 84c are included in a preprocessing execution section 84e. The preprocessing execution section 84e controls the preprocessing section formed by each port, the transport arm 24, and the like based on setting of the preprocessing and a parameter received by the setting receiving means 84d. At this time, the preprocessing execution section 84e performs control in such a way that a plurality of types of preprocessing set for different samples is performed simultaneously in parallel.

[0091] That is, the separation containers 50 or the collection containers 54 containing different samples are successively transported to respective ports corresponding to the plurality of types of preprocessing, and the samples are preprocessed in parallel. The preprocessing execution section 84e performs control, based on management by the processing status management means 84b, in such a way that preprocessing is not to be performed on different samples at the same port at the same time. Additionally, in the case where a plurality of ports is provided for the same preprocessing, each port forms an individual preprocessing section.

[0092] As described above, in the present embodiment, any separation containers 50 or collection containers 54 are sequentially transported by the transport arm 24 to a plurality of ports (preprocessing sections), and preprocessing may be performed at the ports simultaneously in parallel. Accordingly, even if preprocessing of a sample takes much time, preprocessing of other samples can proceed forward, thereby preventing a wasteful wait time.

[0093] Moreover, a plurality of types of preprocessing and a parameter for each preprocessing may be set for each sample, and thus, a wide variety of types of preprocessing may be performed on each sample. Also in such a case, any separation containers 50 or collection containers 54 may be sequentially transported by the transport arm 24 to a plurality of ports and preprocessing may be performed. Further, because control is performed in such a way that preprocessing is not to be performed on different samples at the same port at the same time, not only a high degree of flexibility in setting of preprocessing may be achieved but also the preprocessing efficiency may be increased.

[0094] FIGS. 9A and 9B are flowcharts showing example operation of the preprocessing device 1. In FIGS. 9A and 9B, only the flow of preprocessing for one sample is shown, but the operation for the preprocessing is performed simultaneously in parallel with and independently of the preprocessing operation for other samples. That "preprocessing is performed simultaneously in parallel and independently" means that, even while preprocessing is performed for a sample at a port, the separation container 50 or the collection container 54 containing another sample is transported by the transport arm 24 to another port, and preprocessing of the sample is independently performed.

[0095] First, an analysis item specified by an analyst, in advance, for a sample is checked (step S1), and a preprocessing item necessary to analyze the analysis item is figured out. Then, whether the dispensing port 32 is vacant is checked. If the dispensing port 32 is vacant (Yes in step S2), an unused separation container 50 for containing the sample is taken out from the container holding section 12 by the transport arm 24, and is installed in the dispensing port 32 (step S3). At this time, the separation container 50 and the collection container 54 are installed in the container holding section 12 in a state where they are piled up (the state shown in FIG. 5), but the transport arm 24 holds only the separation container 50 at the top by the holding section 25 and transports the separation container 50 to the dispensing port 32.

[0096] Then, the sample is dispensed by the sampling nozzle 20a into the separation container 50 in the dispensing port 32 (step S4). The sampling nozzle 20a which dispensed the sample into the separation container 50 is washed at the washing port 45 to be used for dispensing the next sample. A reagent according to the preprocessing to be performed on the sample is dispensed from the reagent container 10, by the reagent addition nozzle 26a, into the separation container 50 in which the sample has been dispensed (step S5). Additionally, the reagent may be dispensed into the separation container 50 before dispensing of the sample. Alternatively, a reagent dispensing port for dispensing a reagent may be provided at a position different from the dispensing port 32, and the separation container 50 may be transported by the transport arm 24 to the reagent dispensing port so that a reagent is dispensed at the reagent dispensing port.

[0097] After the sample and the reagent have been dispensed into the separation container 50 in the above manner, the vacancy status of the agitation ports 36a is checked (step S6). Then, if there is a vacant agitation port 36a (Yes in step S6), the separation container 50 in the dispensing port 32 is transported to the vacant agitation port 36a by the transport arm 24, and an agitation process is performed (step S7). This agitation process is performed for a specific time set in advance, and the sample and the reagent inside the separation container 50 are thereby mixed.

[0098] The vacancy status of the filtration ports 30 is checked during the agitation process (step S8). Then, if there is a vacant filtration port 30 (Yes in step S8), the collection container 54 is transported to the filtration port 30 by the transport arm 24 (step S9). The collection container 54 installed in the filtration port 30 at this time is the collection container 54 which is paired up with the separation container 50 where the sample is being agitated at the agitation port 36a, and is the collection container 54 which was installed in the container holding section 12 together with the separation container 50. Additionally, a different separation container 50 or collection container 54 may be transported by the transport arm 24 during this agitation process.

[0099] When the agitation process at the agitation section 36 is completed, the separation container 50 is transported by the transport arm 24 from the agitation port 36a to the filtration port 30, and the separation container 50 is installed on the collection container 54 inside the filtration port 30 as shown in FIG. 6D (step S10). At this time, the separation container 50 is pushed to the installation space 30a side by the transport arm 24 until the lower end of the skirt section 51 of the separation container 50 becomes slightly lower (by about 0.1 mm, for example) than the upper surface of the sealing member 60 provided around the filtration port 30. The sealing member 60 is thus flattened by the lower end of the skirt section 51, and the airtightness between the lower end of the skirt section 51 and the sealing member 60 is increased.

[0100] Predetermined negative pressure is applied by the negative pressure application mechanism 55 to the installation space 30a of the filtration port 30 where the separation container 50 and the collection container 54 are installed. When a state where negative pressure is applied to the installation space 30a of the filtration port 30 is maintained for a specific period of time, the sample in the separation container 50 is filtered, and the sample is extracted into the collection container 54 (step S11). A different separation container 50 or collection container 54 may be transported by the transport arm 24 also during this filtration process.

[0101] Additionally, although not incorporated in this preprocessing operation, a temperature adjustment process for maintaining the sample in the separation container 50 at a specific temperature for a specific period of time is sometimes incorporated after the agitation process for the sample in the separation container 50. In this case, the vacancy status of the temperature adjustment ports 38 is checked after the agitation process is completed, and if there is a vacancy, the separation container 50 is transported to the vacant temperature adjustment port 38. Then, the separation container 50 in the temperature adjustment port 38 is transported to the filtration port 30 after a lapse of the specific period of time, and is installed on the collection container 54 in the filtration port 30.

[0102] When the filtration process of the sample is completed, the three-way valve 64 (see FIG. 7) is switched, and the inside of the installation space 30a of the filtration port 30 is caused to reach the atmospheric pressure. Then, the used separation container 50 is taken out of the filtration port 30 by the holding section 25 of the transport arm 24, and is discarded into the discard port 34 (step S12).

[0103] Then, the vacancy status of the transfer port 43 is checked, and if the transfer port 43 is vacant (Yes in step S13), the collection container 54 in the filtration port 30 is transported by the transport arm 24 to the sample transfer section 42, and is placed on the transfer port 43. Then, the moving section 44 moves to the position on the side of the adjacent autosampler 101 (the position shown by the broken line in FIG. 2), and the collection container 54 is thereby transferred to the autosampler 101 side (step S14). On the autosampler 101 side, sample suction by the sampling nozzle is performed with respect to the collection container 54 transferred from the sample transfer section 42.

[0104] The moving section 44 is stopped at the position on the side of the autosampler 101 until sample suction by the autosampler 101 is completed, and when a signal indicating completion of sample suction is received from the autosampler 101 (Yes in step S15), the moving section 44 is returned to the original position (the position indicated by the solid line in FIG. 2). When transfer of the sample is completed, the used collection container 54 is collected by the transport arm 24 from the transfer port 43, and is discarded into the discard port 34 (step S16).

[0105] Additionally, although not incorporated in this preprocessing operation, a temperature adjustment process for maintaining the sample extracted into the collection container 54 at a specific temperature for a specific period of time is sometimes incorporated after the filtration process for the sample. In this case, the vacancy status of the temperature adjustment ports 40 is checked, and if there is a vacancy, the collection container 54 is transported to the vacant temperature adjustment port 40. Then, the collection container 54 in the temperature adjustment port 40 is transported to the transfer port 43 after a lapse of the specific period of time, and transfer of the sample is performed.

[0106] FIG. 10 is a diagram showing an example of a mode of performing preprocessing on different samples simultaneously in parallel. In this example, a case is shown where the same preprocessing is performed on different samples A, B, C and so on. Here, although a dispensing process of a sample and a reagent, an agitation process, and a filtration process are shown as examples of preprocessing, these processes are not restrictive. It is also possible to perform other processes or not to perform at least one of the processes.

[0107] Samples which have been subjected to preprocessing by the preprocessing device 1 are sequentially transferred to the LC100 and the MS200 to be analyzed, but it is not possible to simultaneously analyze different samples at the LC 100 and the MS200. Accordingly, in the present embodiment, automatic control is performed by the arithmetic processing device 90 so that analyses are not performed simultaneously at the LC 100 and the MS 200 for different samples.

[0108] Specifically, an execution start timing of preprocessing of each sample is set according to an analysis completion timing, namely, the timing when an analysis result is output (result output timing), of each sample at the LC 100 and the MS 200. For example, a delay time T2 is given to the execution start timing of preprocessing of each sample according to an analysis time T1 from the start of analysis at the LC 100 and the MS 200 to the result output timing. The delay time T2 is set to be equal to or longer than the analysis time T1.

[0109] In this manner, by shifting the execution start timing of a plurality of types of preprocessing for each sample according to the analysis completion timing of each sample at the LC 100 and the MS 200, occurrence of a wasteful wait time after completion of preprocessing of each sample until start of analysis may be prevented. If there is a long wait time after completion of preprocessing, the property of the sample is possibly changed. Thus, if occurrence of a wait time after completion of preprocessing is prevented, a more desirable analysis result may be obtained.

[0110] However, in the case where the preprocessing items to be performed for the samples are different, just setting the delay time T2 according to the analysis completion timing of each sample may still results in an event where the same preprocessing for the samples is performed at the same port. In such a case, a wait time occurs until the port becomes vacant, and a wait time may possibly occur between analysis times T1 of the samples at the LC 100 and the MS 200. Additionally, in the case of a configuration where a sample which has been subjected to preprocessing by the preprocessing device 1 is to be introduced into only one of the LC 100 and the MS 200, the execution start timing of a series of preprocessing for each sample is shifted according to the analysis completion timing of the LC 100 or the MS 200.

[0111] In the embodiment described above, a structure where the preprocessing kits are held in two rows by the container rack 16 is described. However, the container rack 16 may hold the preprocessing kits in one row, or in three or more rows.

[0112] Moreover, the embodiment described above has a configuration according to which a sample in the separation container 50 is separated by reducing the pressure inside the installation space 30a of the filtration port 30 to a negative pressure level. However, such a configuration is not restrictive, and a sample in the separation container 50 may alternatively be separated by increasing the pressure inside the separation container 50.

[0113] The control section 84 of the preprocessing device 1 and the arithmetic processing device 90 do not necessarily have to be provided separately, and operation of the entire analysis system may alternatively be controlled by one control section. Also, a sample which has been subjected to preprocessing by the preprocessing device 1 does not necessarily have to be introduced into the LC 100 or the MS 200, and may alternatively be introduced into another device.

DESCRIPTION OF REFERENCE SIGNS

[0114] 2 preprocessing device [0115] 1a operation display section [0116] 2 sample installation section [0117] 4 sample rack [0118] 6 sample container [0119] 8 reagent installation section [0120] 10 reagent container [0121] 12 container holding section [0122] 14 rotating section [0123] 16 container rack [0124] 20 sampling arm [0125] 20a sampling nozzle [0126] 22 vertical shaft [0127] 24 transport arm [0128] 25 holding section [0129] 26 reagent arm [0130] 26a reagent addition nozzle [0131] 29 vertical shaft [0132] 30 filtration port [0133] 30a installation space [0134] 31 holding member [0135] 32 dispensing port [0136] 34 discard port [0137] 36 agitation section [0138] 36a agitation port [0139] 38 temperature adjustment port [0140] 40 temperature adjustment port [0141] 42 sample transfer section [0142] 43 transfer port [0143] 44 moving section [0144] 45 washing port [0145] 50 separation container [0146] 50a inner space [0147] 50b opening [0148] 50c flange section [0149] 50d extraction opening [0150] 51 skirt section [0151] 52 separating layer [0152] 54 collection container [0153] 54a inner space [0154] 54b opening [0155] 54c flange section [0156] 54d cut-out [0157] 55 negative pressure application mechanism [0158] 56 channel [0159] 57 channel [0160] 58 vacuum pump [0161] 60 sealing member [0162] 62 pressure sensor [0163] 64 three-way valve [0164] 66 vacuum tank [0165] 68 pressure sensor [0166] 70 three-way valve [0167] 84 control section [0168] 84a preprocessing means [0169] 84b processing status management means [0170] 84c random access means [0171] 84d setting receiving means [0172] 84e preprocessing execution section [0173] 90 arithmetic processing device [0174] 100 liquid chromatograph (LC) [0175] 101 autosampler [0176] 200 mass spectrometry device (MS) [0177] 201 ionization section [0178] 202 mass spectrometry section

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