A kit for gathering menstrual blood as a source of mesenchymal stem cells
Advisor: Yifat Keinan
Stem cells are the building blocks of the human body and they have two main functions: replicating and being sorted into different cell types. Currently, stem cells are used to treat 80 life-threatening diseases . Due to their enormous potential, additional treatments are being studies to see if these cells that help resolve diseases and provide medications for conditions that have no cure.
Today we have several sources for stem cells, including bone marrow, peripheral blood, fat tissue, umbilical blood, amniotic fluid, placental matter, and others. These sources may only be used once and require expensive and invasive procedures. Such difficulties have prompted medical researchers to search for additional, available, and renewal stem cell sources.
In 2007, menstrual blood was discovered to be rich in stem cells. Since then, many uses have been tried in pre-clinical trials. Many studies have demonstrated the treatment, prevention, and monitoring options inherent in this source. Among others, studies have addressed diseases such as Type I diabetes, Alzheimer's, liver diseases, muscular degeneration, stroke, heart attacks, and more.
CELLIX is a home kit to gather and store menstrual blood, making the platform for blood donation and its transfer to the lab accessible, and providing an additional source of stem cells. The kit design addresses every stage of the process from initial collection done by users at home to the cell separation at the lab.
To preserve the blood, prevent contamination, and keep the cells viable one must add a fluid to the blood.
Increasing the shelf life of the kit and creating a use scenario that is simple and intuitive requires users seal the beaker with the included seal cap. This design ensures the success of the process.
The beaker must be refrigerated on its side from the moment of collection and sealing is complete and until it is given to the delivery person.
During that time, the stem cells sink and cling to the polyester stick, a fact that makes cell separation from the fluid easier in the lab.
The project is part of the Heath Activism movement and is a design product that underlines the way every person can help, contribute, and change lives with a few simple steps. Also, my vision is to normalize the way we approach women's menstrual cycles, empowering every woman through her femininity in a way that she currently doesn’t utilize and progress ahead to breaking ancient taboos.
I believe that meaningful design stems from research and true reflection on people and our environment.
I consider design as a tool capable of making services accessible and simplify concepts from every field, connecting people, and gradually leading to behavioral and perception changes, making the world a nicer place. Since earliest memory, I have dealt with creativity and design, developing a string intuition that I incorporate with the tools and practical know-how acquired over the years.