A Hand-Powered, Portable, Low-Cost Centrifuge for Diagnosing Anemia in Low-Resource Settings

Jocelyn Brown Rice University Institute for Global Health Technologies, Houston, Texas; University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, Texas

Search for other papers by Jocelyn Brown in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Lauren Theis Rice University Institute for Global Health Technologies, Houston, Texas; University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, Texas

Search for other papers by Lauren Theis in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Lila Kerr Rice University Institute for Global Health Technologies, Houston, Texas; University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, Texas

Search for other papers by Lila Kerr in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Nazima Zakhidova Rice University Institute for Global Health Technologies, Houston, Texas; University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, Texas

Search for other papers by Nazima Zakhidova in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Kelly O'Connor Rice University Institute for Global Health Technologies, Houston, Texas; University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, Texas

Search for other papers by Kelly O'Connor in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Margaret Uthman Rice University Institute for Global Health Technologies, Houston, Texas; University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, Texas

Search for other papers by Margaret Uthman in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Z. Maria Oden Rice University Institute for Global Health Technologies, Houston, Texas; University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, Texas

Search for other papers by Z. Maria Oden in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Rebecca Richards-Kortum Rice University Institute for Global Health Technologies, Houston, Texas; University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, Texas

Search for other papers by Rebecca Richards-Kortum in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

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, P < 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.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Institute for Global Health Technologies, Rice University, 6100 Main Street, MS 636, Houston, TX 77005. E-mail: rkortum@rice.edu

Financial support: The Beyond Traditional Borders initiative was supported by a grant to Rice University from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute through the Undergraduate Science Education Program.

Authors' addresses: Jocelyn Brown, Lauren Theis, Lila Kerr, Nazima Zakhidova, Kelly O'Connor, Z. Maria Oden, and Rebecca Richards-Kortum, Institute for Global Health Technologies, Rice University, Houston, TX. Margaret Uthman, University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston, TX.

  • 1.

    World Health Organization, 2009. Iron deficiency anaemia. Available at: http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/ida/en/index.html. Accessed April 5, 2010.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2.

    Malkin RA, 2007. Design of healthcare technologies for the developing world. Annu Rev Biomed Eng 9: 567587.

  • 3.

    Robinett D, Taylor H, Stephens C, 1996. Anemia Detection in Health Services: Guidelines for Program Managers. Seattle, WA: Program for Appropriate Technology in Health.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4.

    Van den Broek NR, Ntonya C, Mhango E, White SA, 1999. Diagnosing anaemia in pregnancy in rural clinics: assessing the potential of the haemoglobin colour scale. Bull World Health Organ 77: 1521.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5.

    Brimhall OD, McLaughlin TJ, Baker CD, Peterson SC, 1988. Apparatus and Method for Obtaining a Rapid Hematocrit. United States Patent 4,738,655.

  • 6.

    Borg G, 1982. Psychophysical bases of perceived exertion. Med Sci Sports Exerc 14: 377381.

  • 7.

    Birnie G, Rickwood D, eds, 1978. Centrifugal Separations in Molecular and Cell Biology. Woburn, MA: Butterworths.

  • 8.

    Chalin H, Mollison PL, 1952. Correction for plasma trapped in the red cell column of the hematocrit. Blood 7: 12271238.

  • 9.

    Bernstein RE, 1955. The correction of mean cell volume and mean cell haemoglobin concentration. J Clin Pathol 8: 225226.

  • 10.

    Kraemer K, Zimmermann MB, 2007. Nutritional Anemia. Basel: Sight and Life Press.

  • 11.

    Kokholm G, 1991. Simultaneous Measurements of Blood pH, pCO2, pO2 and Concentrations of Hemoglobin and its Derivatives – A Multicenter Study. Radiometer Publication AS107. Wayne, PA: National Committee for Clinical Laboratory Standards

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 12.

    Scientific LW. ZIPocrit Instruction Manual. Available at: http://www.lwscientific.com/manuals/Centrifuges/Zipocrit.pdf. Accessed October 29, 2010.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13.

    Leeson D, Reeve EB, 1951. The plasma in the packed cell column of the haematocrit. J Physiol 115: 129142.

  • 14.

    England JM, Walford DM, Waters DA, 1972. Re-assessment of the reliability of the haematocrit. Br J Haematol 23: 247256.

  • 15.

    Bland J, Altman D, 1986. Comparing methods of measurement: why plotting difference against standard method is misleading. Lancet 346: 10851087.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 16.

    Wong A, Gupta M, Shevkoplyas S, Whitesides G, 2008. Egg beater as a centrifuge: isolating human blood plasma from whole blood in resource-poor settings. Lab Chip 8: 20232037.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
Past two years Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 64 64 17
Full Text Views 2024 1125 1
PDF Downloads 1049 409 0
 
Membership Banner
 
 
 
Affiliate Membership Banner
 
 
Research for Health Information Banner
 
 
CLOCKSS
 
 
 
Society Publishers Coalition Banner
Save