Hospitals are in constant need of donated blood. About 30,000 units per day are used to treat survivors and people with blood disorders such as anemia.
Hospitals often have trouble finding blood when the number of patients increases. But what if we could replicate a typical blood donation in the lab and ensure a longer shelf life?
Artificial blood transfused into humans for the first time
Scientists at the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom, with the help of the universities of Bristol and Cambridge, have for the first time transferred artificial blood produced in a laboratory to humans.
Experts say this world-first transplant is part of an ongoing study to determine how blood produced in the lab performs in the body.
It is known that there are blood groups that are very rare around the world. Therefore, the ultimate goal of the project is to produce these rare blood groups.
No adverse effects were observed as a result of the artificial blood transfusion performed. For safety, these trials used extremely small blood transfusions, about one or two teaspoons.
Professor Ashley Toye of the University of Bristol “We want to make as much blood as possible in the future, so the vision in my head is a room full of machines that constantly generate blood from a normal blood donation.” said.
If the trials are successful, there will be far less shortages of blood needed in blood banks and hospitals, but the technology comes at a significant cost.
Collection, packaging and storage of regular donations costs around 130 euros. But scientists say it takes much more money to produce blood in a laboratory setting.