La centrifuga da laboratorio fatta in casa 19.01.17

Un disco di cartone, due cordicelle e 125.000 giri al minuto.
La centrifuga a mano, realizzata dai ricercatori della Stanford University per eseguire test sul sangue separando i globuli dal plasma in pochi minuti, a prima vista potrebbe quasi un giocattolo per bambini, ma in paesi sottosviluppati può fare la differenza tra la vita e la morte.

In a global-health context, commercial centrifuges are expensive, bulky and electricity-powered, and thus constitute a critical bottleneck in the development of decentralized, battery-free point-of-care diagnostic devices. Here, we report an ultralow-cost (20 cents), lightweight (2 g), human-powered paper centrifuge (which we name 'paperfuge') designed on the basis of a theoretical model inspired by the fundamental mechanics of an ancient whirligig (or buzzer toy; 3,300 BC). The paperfuge achieves speeds of 125,000 r.p.m. (and equivalent centrifugal forces of 30,000 g), with theoretical limits predicting 1,000,000 r.p.m. We demonstrate that the paperfuge can separate pure plasma from whole blood in less than 1.5 min, and isolate malaria parasites in 15 min.

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