Navigation Links
Revolution with a salad spinner
Date:5/3/2010

A simple salad spinner will save lives this summer, if everything goes as planned by two Rice University undergraduates.

The spinner has been turned, so to speak, into a rudimentary centrifuge that medical clinics in developing countries can use to separate blood without electricity.

Rice sophomore Lila Kerr and freshman Lauren Theis will take their Sally Centrifuge abroad for nearly two months this summer as part of Beyond Traditional Borders (BTB), Rice's global health initiative that brings new ideas and technologies to underdeveloped countries. Kerr will take a spinner to Ecuador in late May, Theis will take one to Swaziland in early June and a third BTB team will take one to Malawi, also in June. Such field testing is important to Rice students as they develop a range of tools to enhance global health.

Kerr and Theis are minoring in global health technologies and took the Introduction to Bioengineering and World Health class taught by Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Rice's Stanley C. Moore Professor, chair of the Department of Bioengineering and director of Rice 360˚: Institute for Global Health Technologies.

"There was a whole range of projects to take on this year, and luckily we got one that wasn't terribly engineering-intensive," said Kerr, a sociology major from Dayton, Ohio.

"We were essentially told we need to find a way to diagnose anemia without power, without it being very costly and with a portable device," added Theis, a political science major and native of San Antonio, Texas.

They found that a salad spinner met those criteria. When tiny capillary tubes that contain about 15 microliters of blood are spun in the device for 10 minutes, the blood separates into heavier red blood cells and lighter plasma. The hematocrit, or ratio of red blood cells to the total volume, measured with a gauge held up to the tube, can tell clinicians if a patient is anemic. That detail is critical for diagnosing malnutrition, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria.

"The students really did an amazing job of taking very simple, low-cost materials and creating a device their research shows correlates nicely with hematocrit levels in the blood," said Maria Oden, professor in the practice of engineering education and director of Rice's Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK). She was the team's co-adviser with Richards-Kortum. "Many of the patients seen in developing world clinics are anemic, and it's a severe health problem. Being able to diagnose it with no power, with a device that's extremely lightweight, is very valuable," she said.

Kerr said the device spins tubes at up to 950 rpm. Results with the push-pump spinner compare favorably to those obtained with the ZIPocrit, a miniature, battery-powered centrifuge used as part of Rice's Lab-in-a-Backpack project. The ZIPocrit spins up to 10,000 rpm and completes its task in four to five minutes.

But the manual Sally Centrifuge, named in honor of a landmark known as the Sallyport on the Rice campus, has other advantages.

First, it requires no electricity -- just a bit of muscle. "We've pumped it for 20 minutes with no problem," Theis said. "Ten minutes is a breeze."

Second, it can spin up to 30 tubes at a time versus the ZIPocrit's maximum of four.

Third, it has proven to be fairly robust. "It's all plastic and pretty durable," Kerr said. "We haven't brought it overseas yet, of course, but we've trekked it back and forth across campus in our backpacks and grocery bags and it's held up fine."

The centrifuge, assembled using plastic lids, cut-up combs, yogurt containers and a hot-glue gun, costs about $30 in parts, including the spinner. The students expect to continue work on the device after their summer treks.


'/>"/>

Contact: David Ruth
druth@rice.edu
713-348-6327
Rice University
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. San Francisco Chiropractor Goes Social: Join the Social Back Doctor Revolution on Facebook Now -- Win Prizes, Cash, and Services
2. LifeLinks Revolutionizes Video Interpreting, Shows Spanish Interpreting in Added Dimension-VIDEO!
3. PHSI's Revolutionary Vision-Hearing Program to Be Presented at the ASCRS/ASOA Symposium
4. The Simple and Revolutionary Power to OUTSMART YOUR GENES Out April 6th -- Predictive Medicine Pioneer Dr. Brandon Colby Releases Book
5. Device to revolutionize preventive blood clot care after joint replacement surgery
6. Nu/Hart Leads The Way With Revolutionary Hair Transplant Procedure
7. New Vaporizer Technologies Revolutionize Smoking
8. The longevity revolution
9. Create Healthy Easter Baskets – Join the Food Revolution
10. Innovative Service Revolutionizes How Businesses Research Product Sales Potential
11. Dacha Works Introduces Module- A Revolution In iPhone Case Design
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Revolution with a salad spinner
(Date:6/26/2016)... Carolina (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... of a new product that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The ... centuries. , The two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Experts from the American ... Annual Research Meeting June 26-28, 2016, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. ... including advance care planning, healthcare costs and patient and family engagement. , AIR ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand ... project," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s ... within Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... Dr. ... from injury. Recently, he has implemented orthobiologic procedures as a method for treating ... one of the first doctors to perform the treatment. Orthobiologics are substances that ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... A ... procedures that most people are unfamiliar with. The article goes on to state that ... but also many of these less common operations such as calf and cheek reduction. ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the ... (United States, China, Japan, Brazil, United Kingdom, Germany, France, ... Surgical Procedure Volumes: ... provides surgical procedure volume data in a geographic context. ... analysis of growth drivers and inhibitors, including world population ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 ... but it continues to present great opportunities to investors. ... for today: Intrexon Corp. (NYSE: XON ), ... Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: ARNA ), and Regeneron ... about these stocks and receive your complimentary trade alerts ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... SAN DIEGO , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... advancing programs that address medical conditions resulting from ... that it has appointed Greg Doyle ... member of Leading BioSciences, executive management team and ... officer and chief financial officer. He will provide ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: