Gizmodo reports: [edited]
Inspired by an ancient toy, researchers from Stanford University have developed a hand-spun centrifuge.
A centrifuge is an essential tool for hospitals and labs across the world, but they are expensive, bulky, and require electricity. In poor regions these instruments can be hard to come by, thus limiting the ability of point-of-care healthcare workers to do their work.
In demonstrations, the paperfuge was able to centrifuge blood at 20,000 RPM — a speed comparable to those exerted by conventional benchtop centrifuges. The paperfuge was able to separate pure plasma from whole blood in less than 90 seconds, and to isolate malaria parasites in 15 minutes.
The 20p 'paperfuge' can reach spinning speeds of 125,000 RPM, and exert centrifugal forces equivalent to 30,000 Gs. It’s a hundred times faster than previous non-electrical centrifuges, and is the fastest rotational speed recorded for a human-powered device.