Stem Cells Could Boost Blood Transfusion SuppliesReply
Malcolm Ritter, Associated Press
Red Blood Cells
Made From Scratch
Aug. 19, 2008 -- Scientists say they've found an efficient way to make red blood cells from human embryonic stem cells, a possible step toward making transfusion supplies in the laboratory.
The promise of a virtually limitless supply is tantalizing because of blood donor shortages and disappointments in creating blood substitutes.
Red blood cells are a key component of blood because they carry oxygen throughout the body.
Experts called the new work an advance, but cautioned that major questions had yet to be answered.
The research, published online Tuesday by the journal Blood, was reported by scientists at Advanced Cell Technology in Worcester, Mass., the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
The researchers said the cells they made behaved like natural red blood cells in lab tests, and that their process could be used in large-scale production. The results suggest that embryonic stem cells could someday supply type O-negative "universal donor" red cells for transfusion, they wrote.
Mohandas Narla, director of the Lindsley F. Kimball Research Institute at the New York Blood Center, called the results "a very good start."
Now it will be important to show that the complex lab process really can pump out red cells on a large scale, and that the cells will survive long enough in the human body to be useful, he said. Natural red cells circulate for an average of 120 days.
Hey there! Looks like you're enjoying the discussion, but you're not signed up for an account.
When you create an account, you can participate in the discussions and share your thoughts. You also get notifications, here and via email, whenever new posts are made. And you can like posts and make new friends.
Powered by vBulletin® Copyright © 2019 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.