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greenberetTFS
12-03-2011, 12:37
Artificial Red Blood Cell

Artificial blood may become a common reality, thanks to the first successful transfusion of lab-grown blood into a human. Luc Douay, of Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris, extracted hematopoietic stem cells from a volunteer's bone marrow, and encouraged these cells to grow into red blood cells with a cocktail of growth factors. Douay's team labeled these cultured cells for tracing, and injected 10 billion of them (equalling 2 milliliters of blood) back into the marrow donor's body.
After five days, 94 to 100 percent of the blood cells remained circulating in the body. After 26 days, 41 to 63 percent remained, which is a normal survival rate for naturally produced blood cells. The cells functioned just like normal blood cells, effectively carrying oxygen around the body. "He showed that these cells do not have two tails or three horns and survive normally in the body," said Anna Rita Migliaccio of Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York.
This is great news for international health care. "The results show promise that an unlimited blood reserve is within reach," says Douay. The world is in dire need of a blood reserve, even with the rising donor numbers in the developed world. This need is even higher in parts of the world with high HIV infection rates, which have even lower reserves of donor-worthy blood.
Other attempts to synthesize blood have focused on creating an artificial blood substitute, rather than growing natural blood with artificial means. For example, Chris Cooper of the University of Essex in Colchester, UK, is working on a hemoglobin-based blood substitute that is less toxic than the protein in its unbound state. Artificial blood substitutes present a solution for transfusions after natural disasters and in remote areas. The artificial substitutes do not require refrigeration, unlike fresh and stem cell-grown blood.
The stem cell method has its own pros, though. "The advantage of stem cell technology is that the product will much more closely resemble a red cell transfusion, alleviating some of the safety concerns that continue around the use of the current generations of artificial products," says Cooper.
While Douay's results, published in the medical journal Blood, are a major step forward, mass-produced artificial blood is still a long way away. A patient in need of a blood transfusion would require 200 times the 10 billion cells that Douay and his colleagues used in the test. Robert Lanza, one of the first people to grow red blood cells in a lab on a large scale, suggests using embryonic stem cells, which could generate 10 times the amount grown by Douay.

Possible battlefield use..........:D

Big Teddy :munchin

swatsurgeon
12-03-2011, 13:46
We've been waiting for the next generation of blood substitute.....my concern with 'cultured' blood is the expense and stability....this blood will likely have to be refrigerated just like regular banked blood and have a short shelf life like regular donated blood. Not the best for battlefield resuscitations. That's why the artificial blood products were so promising: 6 month shelf life or longer and no temperature issues.
We will wait and see........

ss

PedOncoDoc
12-04-2011, 10:31
This is not "artificial blood". The researchers took bone marrow stem cells (that go on to make red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets) and put them in an environment to promote the production of red blood cells and then took those cells and transfused them.

These cells were produced outside of the body and raise the possibility of a self-sustaining red blood cell factory outside the body.

The blood produced by the method still needs to be stored and handled like a normal red blood cell unit that is transfused, so it is unlikely to be of much benefit to those in the field, as the environment needed to sustain this method of generating blood cells is not portable.

This technique does, however help deal with a lot of blood transfusion issues like potential for shortage due to few donors, making sustainable pools of uncommon red blood cell types, etc.

DevilSide
12-04-2011, 11:21
This is not "artificial blood". The researchers took bone marrow stem cells (that go on to make red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets) and put them in an environment to promote the production of red blood cells and then took those cells and transfused them.

These cells were produced outside of the body and raise the possibility of a self-sustaining red blood cell factory outside the body.

The blood produced by the method still needs to be stored and handled like a normal red blood cell unit that is transfused, so it is unlikely to be of much benefit to those in the field, as the environment needed to sustain this method of generating blood cells is not portable.

This technique does, however help deal with a lot of blood transfusion issues like potential for shortage due to few donors, making sustainable pools of uncommon red blood cell types, etc.

I guess this is one project that shows the world the use of stem cells, maybe we'll drop the ethics blockade and start using it.

PedOncoDoc
12-04-2011, 11:26
I guess this is one project that shows the world the use of stem cells, maybe we'll drop the ethics blockade and start using it.

The issue has never been with "stem cells" - there has been a lot of criticism of "embryonic stem cells" which are taken from fertilized embryons that have been in frozen storage, and otherwise would likely never be used.

Embryonic stem cells have the greatest potential for tissue engineering (making red blood cells is one example - think making new hearts, ligaments, etc.) because they have not started down the path of differentiation to different tissue types, so they can potentially become any tissue if given the right environment.

Hematopoietic stem cells, which were used in these experiments, are the same cells we transplant as part of a bone marrow transplant.