At the Stanford University , a bio-engineer inspired by a game for children has created a prototype of centrifuge for the blood analysis using materials for only 20 cents of a dollar .
Manu Prakash using simple string, some paper and some plastic, he made a centrifuge, one “Paperfuge” , able to turn so fast that it can generate the energy needed to separate the different components of the blood, like laboratory centrifuges that in addition to having exorbitant costs need electricity.

But let’s try to understand how it works.
The game that inspired Manu Prakash , consisted of a button crossed by a single strand of string, pulling and releasing the string the button was turning faster and faster.
Using a camera capable of capturing images at very high speed, the bio-engineer calculated that his paperfuge was running at a speed between 10,000 and 15,000 rpm, but it was not yet enough.

So he turned to some colleagues at the university and at the university MIT to make changes to its prototype.
Following a series of computer simulations, Manu and the team managed to make a version capable of running at around 125,000 rpm.
By applying a blood stick to the paper disc and spinning it for about a minute and a half, he managed to separate the plasma and the red blood cells.
With this device they conducted a series of field tests in Madagascar managing to carry out analyzes to diagnose malaria.

The synergy between knowledge, digital and analog technologies has led to the creation of an invention capable of revolutionizing the way of conducting analyzes in remote areas of our planet, not reached by an electrical network and with few resources available.

This article was originally published on: news.stanford.edu 10 January 2017