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Fidget spinners can save lives as centrifuges

Science & Environment

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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