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20-Cent, Toy-Inspired “Paperfuge“ Detects Disease in Off-the-Grid Regions
When used for disease testing, a centrifuge separates blood components and makes pathogens easier to detect. A typical centrifuge spins fluid samples inside an electric-powered, rotating drum. Inspired by a whirligig toy, Stanford University bioengineers have developed an inexpensive, human-powered blood centrifuge that will enable precise diagnosis and treatment of diseases like malaria, African sleeping sickness, and tuberculosis in the poor, off-the-grid regions where these diseases are most prevalent. Built from 20 cents of paper, twine, and plastic, this "??paperfuge"?%9D can spin at speeds of 125,000 rpm and exert centrifugal forces of 30,000 Gs. It separates blood into its individual components in only 1.5 minutes.
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