Breakthrough In Manufacture Of Red Blood Cells

American consumers were delighted (or possibly revolted) by this commercial in 2008:


(Tru Blood beverage video - this blood's for you)

The commercial advertised for Tru Blood, a TV series based on the work of Charlaine Harris, set in a small Louisiana town. After Japanese synthetic blood hits the market, humans and vampires coexist for the first time.

Maybe the premise (apart from the vampire part) is not so crazy.

A team of researchers from the University of Bristol and NHS Blood and Transplant may have [finally found a way to create blood for transfusions]. They’ve made a major breakthrough in the process of mass producing red blood cells, in what could technically be an unlimited supply of the stuff. While they now have a biological way of achieving this, they now need the manufacturing technology on a large enough scale in order to mass produce it.

The newly developed technique, however, has created the world’s first immortalized erythroid cell line that can feasibly churn out massive amount of red blood cells. In fact, the researchers report that they have already created liters of blood. They have managed to “trap” the stem cells in an early stage of their growth, in which they have effectively become immortal. From this, they can then induce samples of it to form the red blood cells needed.

“Scientists have been working for years on how to manufacture red blood cells to offer an alternative to donated blood to treat patients,” says Professor Dave Anstee, who coauthored the study published in Nature Communications. “The first therapeutic use of a cultured red cell product is likely to be for patients with rare blood groups because suitable conventional red blood cell donations can be difficult to source.”

Via IFLScience.

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