Blood plasma separation is a prerequisite in numerous biomedical assays involving low abundance plasma-borne biomarkers and thus is the fundamental step before many bioanalytical steps. High-capacity refrigerated centrifuges, which have the advantage of handling large volumes of blood samples, are widely utilized, but they are bulky, non-transportable, and prohibitively expensive for low-resource settings, with prices starting at $1,500. On the other hand, there are low-cost commercial and open-source micro-centrifuges available, but they are incapable of handling typical clinical amounts of blood samples (2-10mL). There is currently no low-cost CE marked centrifuge that can process large volumes of clinical blood samples on the market. As a solution, we customised the rotor of a commercially available low-cost micro-centrifuge (~$125) using 3D printing to enable centrifugation of large clinical blood samples in resource poor-settings. Our custom adaptor ($15) can hold two 9 mL S-Monovette tubes and achieve the same separation performance (yield, cell count, hemolysis, albumin levels) as the control benchtop refrigerated centrifuge, and even outperformed the control in platelet separation by at least four times. This low-cost open-source centrifugation system capable of processing clinical blood tubes could be valuable to low-resource settings where centrifugation is required immediately after blood withdrawal for further testing.
ASJC Scopus subject areas