Volume 85, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



This report describes the development of a hand-powered centrifuge to determine hematocrit values in low-resource settings. A hand-powered centrifuge was constructed by using a salad spinner. Hematocrit values were measured by using the hand-powered device, and results were compared with those of a benchtop centrifuge. The packed cell volume (PCV) measured with the hand-powered device correlated linearly with results obtained with a benchtop centrifuge (r = 0.986, < 0.001). The PCVs measured with the hand-powered centrifuge were consistently 1.14 times higher than those measured with the benchtop system. The 14% increase in PCV measured with the hand-powered centrifuge is caused by increased plasma trapped in the cell column. The reader card was adjusted to compensate for trapped plasma. A hand-powered centrifuge and calibrated reader card can be constructed for U.S. $35 and can accurately determine hematocrit values. It is suitable for use in low-resource settings because it is mechanically-powered, inexpensive, and accurate.


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  • Received : 13 Jul 2010
  • Accepted : 09 May 2011
  • Published online : 01 Aug 2011

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