As part of a global health class at Rice University, students Lila Kerr and Lauren Theis decided to build a human-powered centrifuge that developing countries could build for around $30, made from a salad spinner and other cheap parts. Their assignment was to build a tool that could diagnose anemia without electricity and they came up with the “Sally Centrifuge.”
The students … found that spinning tiny tubes of blood in the device for 10 minutes was enough to separate the blood into heavier red blood cells and lighter plasma. Then they used a gauge to measure the hematocrit, the ratio of red blood cells to the total volume. That information tells a doctor whether a patient is anemic, which can in turn help to diagnose conditions like malnutrition, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and malaria.
Discover Magazine:How to Turn a Salad Spinner Into a Medical Centrifuge for $30
Rice University press release: Revolution with a salad spinner…