Artificial Blood

Artificial Red Blood Cells - Washington University School of Medicine Innovation

Life Saver From artificial hearts to prosthetic limbs, we've managed to replace many parts of the human body.  But blood seemed beyond our reach.  Now at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Allan Doctor, MD is developing artificial red blood cells.  They will serve as a blood substitute and bridging therapy that might keep severely injured people alive until they get to a hospital.

Trauma is the leading cause of death in the US for those under 46 years old.  About 30,000 of those deaths could be prevented in those patients with severe bleeding from trauma.

Nanotech Blood
The Washington University research team is developing a freeze-dried, powdered blood substitute.  It's called ErythroMer and it's comprised of nano-scale, synthetic red blood cells that can deliver oxygen throughout the body.

Time and Life Saving Medical Innovation
Fresh blood becomes unusable after 42 days if refrigerated and only a few hours if not.  The freeze-dried ErythroMer can be stored at ambient temperatures for extended periods of time.  That gives it mobility such as in ambulances. And, importantly studies suggest it could be given to people regardless of their blood type, which is a big gamechanger.

Many Uses
The applications are numerous.  It could be used at the scene of accidents, on battlefields or in remote villages.  It's been used successfully in mice and rats.  Human tests are upcoming. It represents an important medical innovation breakthrough.


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