Taiwan scientists use ‘fidget spinners’ to separate blood plasma in breakthrough study

Physics of fidget spinners makes the toys an ideal tool to isolate blood plasma

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/04/01
By: Huang Tzu-ti, Taiwan News, Staff Writer

A fidget spinner (Photo/Pixabay)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A Taiwan research team has made a breakthrough with a new method of separating blood plasma for diagnostic tests – making the most of the “fidget spinner.”

A fidget spinner is a multi-lobed toy comprised of a ball bearing in the center, often used to help people relieve stress or nervous energy. Surprisingly, the device has been discovered to serve medical applications in a study conducted by a group of scientists from National Taiwan University, reported UDN.

Blood tests are performed by separating blood cells from plasma, which appears as a kind of yellowish fluid that carries proteins, viruses, bacteria, metabolites and other substances, which can be examined to diagnose diseases.

The method requires centrifugation that employs high-speed rotation to sediment blood cells, but centrifuges can be costly and consume large amounts of electricity, said Chen Chien-fu (陳建甫), a leading member of the research team from NTU Institute of Applied Mechanics.    [FULL  STORY]

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