JAN 27, 2019 09:08 PM PST

Fidget Spinners Make a Simple, Low-cost Alternative to Centrifuges

WRITTEN BY: Carmen Leitch

Fidget spinners are small toys that people might use to destress or reduce anxiety, but they may have another practical application. Researchers have found that the centrifugal force they generate is enough to separate blood cells from plasma so it can be used in diagnostic tests.

Fidget spinners are a low-tech way to accomplish the centrifugation that’s needed to prepare the blood for tests in areas with limited resources. The inexpensive toys don’t need electricity, unlike laboratory centrifuges.

Led by researchers Chien-Fu Chen and Chien-Cheng Chang, a team of scientists used fidget spinners on blood samples. They separated about 30 percent of nearly pure plasma in around six minutes by flicking the spinner only a few times. This method enabled them to detect HIV proteins in a single drop of blood.

Sources: AAAS/Eurekalert! via American Chemical Society, Analytical Chemistry

About the Author
  • Experienced research scientist and technical expert with authorships on 28 peer-reviewed publications, traveler to over 60 countries, published photographer and internationally-exhibited painter, volunteer trained in disaster-response, CPR and DV counseling.
You May Also Like
FEB 01, 2019
Cardiology
FEB 01, 2019
Parents Prefer Opioids For Their Children Despite Risks
Opioid abuse has become an epidemic in the United States. It is estimated that 72,000 deaths were the result of opioid abuse in 2017. The hardest hit state...
FEB 16, 2019
Videos
FEB 16, 2019
Brain Scans Reveal Inflammation in Post-Treatment Lyme Disease Syndrome
Ticks transmit the bacterium that causes Lyme disease, which infects about 300,000 people every year in the US....
FEB 22, 2019
Cardiology
FEB 22, 2019
Wireless Ventricular Assist Devices Change Lives
Israeli tech company Leviticus Cardio has created a unique system that allows for wireless charging of a ventricular assist device (VAD). Previously VADs c...
FEB 21, 2019
Cannabis Sciences
FEB 21, 2019
Cannabis 101: Now Accepting Students
Michigan voters recently legalized recreational cannabis. A few months later, PharmSci 420 (I'm serious, that is the class's real name and number)...
FEB 25, 2019
Cardiology
FEB 25, 2019
Which Method Is Best For Increasing Flexibility
There are multiple components to fitness that an exerciser can strive towards. These include speed, flexibility, agility, and strength.   Flexibility ...
MAR 02, 2019
Videos
MAR 02, 2019
Don't Blame Lactic Acid for Muscle Pain During a Workout
There's a common misconception about the burn sometimes felt in muscles during exercise....
Loading Comments...