Scientists have created a centrifuge for blood value of 20 cents (video)
The centrifuge is quite expensive equipment that the team of scientists led by Manu Prakash from Stanford University, is going to replace extremely cheap portable analogue named paperfuge. Self-made product consisting of paper, rope/twine, wooden sticks, and glue total cost of materials $0.2 (compared to hundreds and thousands of dollars for a industrial centrifuge), according to the researchers, will be in demand in those regions of developing countries with unstable economies where hospitals can’t afford the purchase and maintenance of laboratory electrocentrifugal, critical for blood sample testing for the presence of anemia and infections such as HIV and malaria.
The prototype paperfuge was an ancient Chinese toy with 5,000 years of history, reminiscent of modern children’s homemade turntable (aka whirligig, Twister or buzzer). Despite its primitive appearance and accessibility (scientists printed on a 3D printer more constructive and convenient sample), paperfuge capable of rotating samples of the liquid at the speed of 125 000 rpm — the result is impressive even for the factory of the centrifuge and without the use of electricity. The researchers were able to separate the particles from the blood plasma in less than 1.5 minutes and to isolate malaria parasites within 15 minutes.
Now Paksas signed a contract with the nonprofit organization health Pivot, which has agreed to conduct testing of the invention, in rural areas of Madagascar, because no field verification of the suitability paperfuge to say about its effectiveness is premature. At the same time there are fears to face public distrust. “Imagine there is a huge medical industry, creating modern, complicated and expensive apparatus, in which large corporations invest money. And here we are, with a piece of paper on the rope for a couple of cents — of course, many will treat this with suspicion and a reasonable mistrust,” the scientist said.
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