Researchers at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland are workin on a type of artificial blood that will be ready for human tests in two or three years. The artificial blood is created from divisible stem cells harvested from adult bone marrow. The fresh created blood will be O Negative and could be used for 98% of patients.
Basically, blood is a liquid material that carries oxygen and other nutrients through the veins and arteries. Every day people are injured or develop problems that requires surgery. This means blood loss requires transfusion of fresh blood from various donors. In some cases this could be a problem because the blood type could be hard to find, especially in underdeveloped countries. In addition, there are external risks of blood infections such as HIV, hepatitis, etc.
The team from Edinburgh, led by Professor Marc Turner, is cultivating stem cells from bone marrow in a material very similar to red blood cells. They believe that the mechanism is refined and will be ready for human testing within three years. The next step would be to combine the results with those obtained by other researchers in the world.
Certainly, artificial blood will be saving lives in medical emergencies. But there is a problem: will not have permanent role in blood replacement. Therefore researchers still need to work towards a true artificial blood, without adverse effects and complications.
Even so, a temporary substitute for human blood would be extremely important. If this new type of blood would come to be used, will save millions of lives worldwide.