Type of innovation: Instrument
Scope: Clinical Analysis
Innovation leader: Grifols i Lucas, Víctor
As the practice of clinical analysis gained popularity in the 1960s, so did the number of test tubes in hospital laboratories. Over time, these tubes and the bulky wooden racks which held them would take up more and more valuable space, and present a storage problem.
Responding to this rather mundane but pressing challenge led Víctor Grifols i Lucas to design and patent a lightweight, Z-shaped aluminum holder that could be transported and stored easily, in 1962.
“As the practice of clinical analysis gained popularity in the 1960s, so did the space occupied by test tubes and racks in hospital laboratories. In response to this challenge, Víctor Grifols i Lucas designed and patented a lightweight, Z-shaped aluminum holder.”
A tube for every purpose
Víctor Grifols designed and manufactured racks with capacity for tubes of three different diameters, depending on their use: 12mm for immunohematology reactions, 14.5mm for chemical reactions and general use, and 17mm for standard test tubes.
In addition, he designed them grouping the holes into two clearly differentiated and separated groups of five rows and five columns each, which made the location and differentiation of the tubes much faster.
The production of anodized aluminum racks was a commercial success, becoming the most popular model in Spanish laboratories. The racks also sold well in Switzerland and Germany.
Grifols continued to manufacture and market a large variety of aluminum racks until the mid-1970s. The racks with 48 holes were among the most popular ones, as they adapted more easily to microplate techniques.
- Gri-Cel, S.A. (1962). Aparatos científicos. [Sales brochure]. Barcelona: Gri-Cel, S.A. y Grupo American Hospital Supply Corporation.
- Gri-Cel, S.A. (1962). Aparatos científicos para control y análisis. [Sales brochure]. Barcelona: Gri-Cel, S.A. y Grupo American Hospital Supply Corporation.
- Grifols-Lucas, V. (1963). Gradilla-12. Unpublished manuscript. Barcelona: Gri-Cel, S.A. y Grupo American Hospital Supply Corporation.
- Gri-Cel, S.A. (1971). Formularios de cumplimentación de anàlisis. [Sales brochure]. Barcelona: Gri-Cel, S.A. y Grupo American Hospital Supply Corporation.
- Grifols-Lucas, V. (1964). Gradilla de soporte para tubos y pipetas de laboratorio. Patente española de invención no. 96.995. Madrid: Oficina Española de Patentes.
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- Grifols-Lucas, V. (2009). Amb un suro i un cordill. Vivències d'un empresari de postguerra. Barcelona: Grupo Grifols, S.A.
- Grifols, S.A. (2011). ¿Y si lo hacemos así? Patentes de Víctor Grífols i Lucas. Barcelona: Grifols, S.A.
- Avellà, R., & Miquel, B. (Eds.). (2015). Cuando un sueño se cumple. Crónica ilustrada de 75 años de Grifols. Barcelona: Grupo Grifols, S.A.