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Invenção de R$ 0,60 pode mudar medicina em países pobres

Uma invenção que custa menos de um real pode mudar a medicina e salvar vidas em países pobres e locais sem infraestrutura. A criação foi batizada de “Paperfuge”, uma junção de paper (papel) e centrifuge (centrífuga).

Ele foi desenhado por pesquisadores de Stanford. Um deles, Manu Prakash, um professor assistente de bioengenharia da universidade de Stanford, tem como linha de pesquisa a criação de soluções baratas com foco no cuidado da saúde em países pobres.

O Paperfuge se encaixa bem nesse trabalho: seus materiais saem por cerca de 20 centavos de dólares (perto dos 60 centavos brasileiros) e pode ter grande impacto no mundo.

 As centrífugas são equipamentos cruciais para a detecção de portadores do vírus HIV, confirmação de casos de malária, entre outros procedimentos médicos.

Para funcionar, as centrífugas precisam de espaço (são geralmente grandes), eletricidade e dinheiro. “Um bilhão de pessoas em nosso planeta vivem sem eletricidade, infraestrutura, estradas e qualquer tipo de assistência média”, diz Prakash em um vídeo produzido por Stanford.

Inspirado em um antigo brinquedo, o novo apetrecho substitui as centrífugas no trabalho de separar o plasma do sangue. Ao colocar um fino tubo de vidro preenchido com sangue e brincar com o Paperfuge, o conteúdo gira a uma grande velocidade.

Alguns testes mostraram que a amostra de sangue pode girar a até 125.000 rpm (rotações por minuto). Para comparação, uma centrífuga profissional fira a 15.800 rpm.

Veja abaixo um vídeo (em inglês) sobre o Paperfuge.

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