NHS to give volunteers ‘synthetic blood’ made in laboratory within two years

Jun 26, 2015

by Steve Connor

The first attempt at giving human volunteers “synthetic blood” made in a laboratory for the first time will take place within the next two years, the NHS has announced.

A long-awaited clinical trial of artificial red blood cells will occur before 2017, NHS scientists said. The blood is made from stem cells extracted from either the umbilical cord blood of newborn babies or the blood of adult donors.

The trial, thought to be a world first, will involve small transfusions of a few teaspoons of synthetic blood to test for any adverse reactions. It will allow scientists to study the time the manufactured red blood cells can survive within human recipients.

Eventually, it is hoped that the NHS will be able to make unlimited quantities of red blood cells for emergency transfusions. However, the immediate goal is to manufacture specialised donations for patients suffering from blood conditions such as sickle-cell anaemia and thalassemia, who need regular transfusions.


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4 comments on “NHS to give volunteers ‘synthetic blood’ made in laboratory within two years

  • @OP- Eventually, it is hoped that the NHS will be able to make unlimited quantities of red blood cells for emergency transfusions.

    If this is successful it could revolutionise the blood-transfusion service, and avoid lots of problems of possible transmissions of infections in blood.

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  • I wonder how the Jehovah’s Witnesses will react to this? Since it doesn’t come from a person but a bioreactor in a lab, it would seem to me that they might not have an issue with it.

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  • Negasta
    Jun 29, 2015 at 6:46 pm

    I wonder how the Jehovah’s Witnesses will react to this? Since it doesn’t come from a person but a bioreactor in a lab, it would seem to me that they might not have an issue with it.

    No!
    It is produced from stem cells and donated blood, so they will reject it as “contamination”, as they do for blood transfusions!

    @OP link – Stem cells isolated from umbilical cord blood donated by pregnant mothers and from the blood of adult donors have been successfully manipulated in the laboratory so they develop into mature, functioning red blood cells, which normally transport oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.

    You can’t expect rationality from a woo-infested brain of the evolution denying type!

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