Want To Use A Bicycle As A Blood Centrifuge?

Using medical equipment that we consider standard in the Western World can be difficult in Third World Countries where things like electricity are in short supply. Designer Jack Trew has created a simple blood centrifuge that works by being attached to the spoke of a bicycle wheel -- something that can be found most of the world over. The Spokefuge is currently one of the finalists for the James Dyson Award and the prize of $45,000.

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The James Dyson Award is meant to help encourage, inspire, and celebrate new generations of design engineers. It is open to current and recent design engineering student and run by the James Dyson Foundation. The ideas entered in the competition are a great way for the rest of us to see what the next generation of designers is ready to bring to the world.

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Jack Trew looked at the reality of the world and that as much as 30% of the world suffers from anemia. The blood condition is the biggest nutritional problem on earth. To be able to properly diagnose and treat the condition a blood centrifuge is required. In the developing countries of the world this can be a challenge. Trew came up with a way to use a simple bicycle wheel to create the Spokefuge.

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Once blood samples are collected through a finger stick and drawn into a capillary tube, the tubes are placed in a rubber casing and inserted into the pivoting centrifugal "arm" and sealed with an air-tight lid. A balanced number of the devices are then placed on the spokes of the rear wheel of a bicycle. The bicycle can then be "ridden" in a fixed position for about ten minutes until the blood samples begin to separate.

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The Spokefuge has the potential to match the reliable results of the high-tech, electronic centrifuges used in modern medical facilities. While the device has been designed for use in underdeveloped areas of the world, such as Africa, this could also be an item useful to emergency teams heading into disaster areas where there is no electricity available. Either way it is a great idea.

Sources: Jack Trew, James Dyson Foundation