As a group of bioengineers, computer scientists, and electrical engineers, we recognize the need to bring diagnostics to communities with limited access to healthcare. The portable, cheap, battery powered centrifuge allows people to seek treatment and diagnosis.
What it does
The centrifuge spins eppendorf tubes allowing the use of a multilayered microfluidic system for diagnostics. The centrifuge is able to reach speeds traditionally used for lab-grade systems at a fraction of the cost, being less than ten dollars. The centrifuge has a variable speed with the ability to hold six tubes at a time.
How we built it
The centrifuge base was built using laser cut acrylic pieces while the rotor system was 3D printed. The device runs on a few batteries and is able to effectively factor in desired speeds.
Challenges we ran into
We had problems characterizing components given, so there is more work to be done on making sure that the components will not burn out.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're proud of the high speeds of the centrifuge and look forward to using it in healthcare and also environmental surveying in which fast particle or fluid separation is necessary. Rather than leaving samples in a cooler for future work, the samples can be spun on site to take the supernatant or precipitate for analysis.
What we learned
We learned about the use and integration of mechanical, electrical, and medical components in creating a useful tool for improving access to healthcare.
What's next for Centrifuge
The centrifuge will immediately be used for field work in DNA, blood segregation, and also environmental sampling. The device will prove to be extremely useful in separating water samples for environmental research in which we aim to extract liquids containing easily damaged DNA from soils and sediment.