Hand-powered Paper Centrifuge Developed At Stanford Costs Just 20 Cents

According to an article published in Nature Biomedical Engineering, Stanford researchers have developed “a 20 cent centrifuge made of paper and string and operated by hand can separate plasma from blood in about 90 seconds.”

And this innovation’s key attributes are:
– ultralow-cost (20 cents)
– lightweight (2 grams)
– human-powered paper centrifuge (named ‘paperfuge’) designed on the basis of a theoretical model inspired by the fundamental mechanics of an ancient whirligig
– open up opportunities for point-of-care diagnostics in resource-poor settings.

Source: http://www.nature.com/articles/s41551-016-0017

Inspired by a whirligig toy, Stanford bioengineers have developed an ultra-low-cost, human-powered blood centrifuge. With rotational speeds of up to 125,000 revolutions per minute, the device separates blood plasma from red cells in 1.5 minutes, no electricity required. A centrifuge is critical for detecting diseases such as malaria, African sleeping sickness, HIV and tuberculosis. This low-cost version will enable precise diagnosis and treatment in the poor, off-the-grid regions where these diseases are most prevalent.

2016 MacArthur “Genius” Manu Prakash On Frugal Science And His Aim To Make Scientific Tools More Accessible Worldwide.

Manu Prakash, a Physical Biologist and Inventor who is an Assistant Professor, Department of Bioengineering at Stanford University is one of the 23 people chosen as 2016 MacArthur Fellows.

Source: https://www.macfound.org/fellows/965/
Source: https://www.macfound.org/fellows/965/

According to his bio on MacArthur Foundations’s website:

Prakash has channeled his ingenuity to invent several devices that empower frugal science: these are low-cost, widely accessible, and appropriate for use in low-resource and field settings. Foldscope, a lightweight optical microscope that costs less than a dollar to produce, is assembled from an origami-based folding design from a single sheet of paper with integrated lenses and electronics. With submicron resolution, Foldscope has already been widely embraced in educational contexts.
Another recent project is a low-cost, sticker-like microfluidic chip that can collect thousands of nanoliter-volume droplets of saliva from mosquito bites that can be screened for pathogens. The chip would enable rapid, scalable, and low-cost collection of surveillance data that is critical for predicting and controlling mosquito-borne disease outbreaks. With remarkable breadth and imagination, Prakash defies traditional disciplinary boundaries in his coupling of basic research and fabrication of high-capability scientific instruments for widespread use in the field and classroom.