Do you know that almost one billion people across the world do not have access to even the basic necessities of life like clean water, electricity, or healthcare? The fact was well noted by Manu Prakash, a Stanford engineer, who got so motivated that he created one of the simplest tools present today for developing nations. It was for the first time that in Uganda he saw a centrifuge being used in form of doorstep. The equipment was later donated for lab use, however, the tool remained unused to due to lack of electricity. This encouraged him to find ways that could be employed to make a low-investment and low-priced centrifuge.
For this purpose, he took with him a post-doctoral graduate, Saad Bhamla, who was also intrigued with the idea of centrifuge. Saas used a high speed camera and discovered that a single button on a string can spin at a speed of 15, 000 rotations per minute. In order to prove this concept, they built a larger whirling device and when a blood sample was mounted over this device, it separated the blood into layers. The present day device can attain speed up to 125, 000 RPMs that has a centrifugal force of up to 30, 000g.
The team also had other members like Aanchal Johri, Georgios Katsikis, Chew Chai, and Brandon Benson, all of whom together published a paper called “Hand-powered Ultra Low-Cost Paper Centrifuge”. A special segment of this paper has been dedicated to drag torque, input torque, the relative centrifugal forces, twisting torque, and so forth. During the development of this system the team also took a dig into 3D printed materials, plastic, and polydimethylsiloxane. The previous tests took place in Madagascar for timely diagnosis of Malaria.
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