Innovations That Matter

Fidget spinner | Photo source Pixabay

Fidget spinners can save lives as centrifuges

Science

Researchers at the National Taiwan University discover that the plastic children’s toy can spin fast enough to separate blood

Spotted: Researchers at National Taiwan University have discovered that a simple plastic fidget spinner – the 2017 surprise hit toy – can spin fast enough to work as a centrifuge and separate red blood cells from plasma, a necessary process for vital blood tests.

Chien-Fu Chen, Chien-Cheng Chang and colleagues worked out that, with just a few flicks of a finger, a fidget spinner could spin fast enough to separate about 30 percent of the plasma in only four to seven minutes. That is enough to help doctors in under-developed areas test for life-threatening diseases like malaria and HIV.

Their research was published in the Analytical Chemistry Journal in December 2018.

Email: ntucoe@ntu.edu.tw

Website: www.eng.ntu.edu.tw

Contact: www.eng.ntu.edu.tw/contact

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