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Researchers successfully perform first injection of cultured red blood cells in human donor
Date:9/1/2011

is the first study that has proven that they are capable of survival in the human body, a major breakthrough for the transplant community," said Luc Douay, MD, PhD, senior study author and Professor of Hematology at Universit Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris, France. "There is a dire need for an alternative source of transfusable blood products, especially with the risk of infection from emergent new viruses that comes with traditional transfusion. Producing red blood cells in culture is promising since other efforts to create alternative sources have not yet been as successful as once hoped."

These results are especially timely, as blood donation organizations such as the American Red Cross have recently declared a critical nationwide blood shortage. Globally, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently reported donation rates of less than 1 percent of the population in more than 70 countries. Many of these countries are considered developing or transitional and have substantial transfusion needs due to high prevalence of maternal morbidity, childhood malnutrition, trauma casualties, and infectious disease.1

"The results from our study establish the feasibility of the concept of transfusing cRBCs and show promise that an unlimited blood reserve is within reach," said Professor Douay. "Although the full-scale production of these cells will require additional technological advances in cell engineering, we believe cRBCs could prove to be a valid alternative to classic transfusion products that will not only provide an adequate supply of blood, but reduce the risk of life-threatening complications and infections that can accompany traditional transfusion."


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Contact: Lindsey Love
webmaster@hematology.org
202-552-4925
American Society of Hematology
Source:Eurekalert

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