Can Artificial Blood From Stem Cells be a Reality?
Posted Jan 13 2013 2:02am
Scientists from IIT Madras
have created red blood cells from stem cells. And you know what? If all goes
well according to their plan it can be used in blood transfusions. So what are
stem cells? They are biological cells which are found in multicellular
organisms. They divide and differentiate into various specialized cells and
could self replicate them to produce more cells of their own kind.
Back to our topic, the story of
artificial blood can be mind boggling. The two most common types of artificial blood are hemoglobin
based oxygen carriers and perflourocarbons. Artificial blood is quite versatile
than the real blood. It has long shelf life, does not need refrigeration and
above all it does not need to be specifically matched for a particular type.
The researchers say that once
the artificial blood’s oxygen carrying capacity is proved the red blood cells
will go into mass production before starting human trials in three years time. Interested
to know how they did it? The scientists cultured adult stem cells derived from
cord blood and added some nutritional supplements. They did not use any expensive
enzymes or growth factors but the yield was quite phenomenal……Times of India
reports a billion times high.
Human embryonic cells Wikipedia
The scientists across the
globe have been working on this but all most all attempts yielded 40% of white
blood cells in the culture and this kind of transfusion for those with weak
immune system can be tricky. The present research yielded an exclusive produce
of red blood cells. The trials will be first conducted on anemic mice. I hope human
trials will start in three years.
This artificial blood may be
a boon because the demand for transfusions is climbing each day, though
transfusion is safe in many countries: in Nigeria the second largest source of
HIV infection is blood transfusion, it is valuable in battle fields, in trauma
situations, is most cost effective, it allows full capacity of oxygen
transport, is an answer to the cultural problems and shows potential for cancer