The low-cost centrifuge replacement can separate plasma from blood in minutes, which is used in tests to detect lethal infectious diseases responsible for half of all deaths in developing countries.
George Whitesides and colleagues at Harvard University, US, say the plasma obtained is easily good enough to use in tests to detect diseases such as Hepatitis B and cysticercosis.
"The object was to separate serum [plasma] from blood using readily-obtained materials in a resource-constrained environment," explains Whitesides.
The equipment can be bought from shops for around two dollars. It needs no special training to use, no electricity or maintenance, and can be sterilised with boiling water and reused.
The user can even prepare several samples at once - just by taping more lengths of tubing to the beater.
Contrast this with the bulky, sensitive commercial centrifuges, costing thousands of dollars and requiring extensive operation training, and it's easy to see how this development could save lives.
"This technique is simple and works remarkably well," says Doug Weibel, an expert in microbiology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, US. "This technique complements several other 'simple solutions' that the Whitesides group has developed to tackle point-of-care diagnostics in resource-poor settings."
Jon Edwards | alfa
Molecular libraries for organic light-emitting diodes
24.04.2017 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
Fine organic particles in the atmosphere are more often solid glass beads than liquid oil droplets
21.04.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...
Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.
A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
24.04.2017 | Trade Fair News
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine