Tags: artificial | blood | test | lab-created | shortages

Artificial Blood Will Soon Be Tested in Humans

By    |   Thursday, 25 Jun 2015 12:32 PM


Great Britain's National Health Service hopes to test artificial blood in humans within the next two years. The lab-created blood is being developed due to falling donations, and could relieve blood shortages in the future, especially in emergency situations. It would also provide blood for people with rare blood types who have difficulty finding compatible donors as well as those with blood conditions, such as sickle cell anemia, who need regular transfusions.

The initial human trial will only use small amounts of synthetic blood — a few teaspoons — to allow scientists to monitor for any adverse reactions, and to see how manufactured blood reacts in the human body.

"These trials will compare manufactured cells with donated blood," the NHS's Dr. Nick Watkins told Britain's The Independent. "The intention is not to replace blood donation but provide specialist treatment for specific patient groups."

The synthetic blood is made from stem cells isolated from the blood of donated umbilical cords or extracted from the blood of adult donors. They are then cultured in nutrients that stimulates them to develop into red blood cells capable of transporting oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.

"They are comparable if not identical to the cells from a donor," said Dr. Watkins.
Synthetic blood would be free of contaminants, such as HIV or hepatitis C.

According to Blood Centers of the Pacific, only 37 percent of the American population is eligible to donate blood, and less than 10 percent donate every year. Synthetic blood could offset shortages that occur, especially during summer and winter holidays.

Some people are banned from donating blood, including those who have had a tattoo or body piercing within 12 months (excluding pierced ears), weigh less than 110 pounds, are intravenous drug users, or have recently traveled abroad to certain countries because their blood could transmit diseases such as malaria.




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Great Britain's National Health Service hopes to test artificial blood in humans within the next two years. The lab-created blood is being developed due to falling donations, and could relieve blood shortages in the future, especially in emergency situations. It would also...
artificial, blood, test, lab-created, shortages
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2015-32-25
Thursday, 25 Jun 2015 12:32 PM
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