University Reaches Artificial Blood Breakthrough; Unlimited Supply Made PossibleBy Ava Jones, UniversityHerald Reporter
The race towards artificial blood transfusion finally gets a helping hand when the University of Bristol and the NHS Blood and Transplant have reached a major breakthrough. Finally, red blood cells can be reproduced in large quantities to aid the world's need of blood transfusion and save lives. Technically, artificial blood will be available in an unlimited supply.
About 30 people in the US need blood transfusion every 60 seconds. That's how much blood America needs to save lives. Basically, the blood bank has a crisis - it just doesn't have that much donated blood lying around.
A generous blood supply is sought after and many have tried to recreate artificial volumes of blood to meet the high demand. This is exactly what a team of researchers from the University of Bristol achieved, IFL Science reported. Together with the people from NHS Blood and Transplant, they have created the world's first immortalized erythroid cell line.
Erythroid cell line can churn out massive amount of red blood cells to create liters of blood. It has the potential to meet and even exceed the needed volume. What the researchers created was trap stem cells while it's still in its early stage of growth so that they will be immortalized.
By doing so the scientists were able to induce samples to form the needed red blood cells. The result was published in the Nature Communications, Bristol News reported. If clinical trials are successful, it could become a safe source of transfusion for patients with rare blood types. It can even be rolled out in areas where blood supplies are dire, inadequate, or unsafe.
Dr. Jan Frayne from the School of Biochemistry at the University of Bristol said previous attempts to produce artificial blood with the use of stem cells only produce very limited volumes of blood. Their alternative approach makes sustainable manufacture of red blood cells for public use while in vitro.