Hand-powered ultralow-cost paper centrifuge

by M. Saad Bhamla, Brandon Benson, Chew Chai et al.
Nature Biomedical Engineering 1, Article number: 0009 (2017)

7 pp. 6.1 MB

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, the authors report an ultralow-cost (20 cents), lightweight (2 g), human-powered paper centrifuge (which they name ‘paperfuge’). They demonstrate that the paperfuge can separate pure plasma from whole blood in less than 1.5 min, and isolate malaria parasites in 15 min. Ultracheap, power-free centrifuges should open up opportunities for point-of-care diagnostics in resource-poor settings and for applications in science education and field ecology.

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