Developmental trend of artificial blood (artificial red blood cells)

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    Regarding research on artificial blood, the "Field of Artificial Blood Development" was inaugurated in 1997, supported by the Ministry of Health and Welfare Grant-in-Aid for Health Science Research, for intensive research activities in the three sub-fields, i.e., artificial red blood cells, artificial platelets, and artificial antibodies. Developed by molecular assembling technology, artificial red blood cells, in the form of hemoglobin vesicles comprising hemoglobin encapsulated with a phospholipid bilayer as a highly efficient oxygen carrier, are now under investigation in laboratory animals to verify their function and safety. These vesicles are characterized by a particle size about 1/30 that of erythrocytes, preservability in a liquid state for 2 years at room temperature, and a sufficient retention time in circulating blood without evoking activation of platelet or complements. The hemoglobin vesicles have proven both to possess a high oxygen-carrying capacity in massive exchange transfusion studies in rodents, and to be remarkably safe, based on blood biochemical tests and pathologic findings in load-dosing and repeated-dose studies. Their noticeable safety against active oxygen has also been demonstrated. A joint industry, government, and university research project on artificial red blood cells is in progress with the present objective of developing a complement to transfusion therapy for emergency lifesaving.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)135-139
    Number of pages5
    JournalJapan Medical Association Journal
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2005 Mar



    • Artificial blood
    • Artificial red blood cells
    • Function and safety evaluation
    • Hemoglobin vesicles

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Medicine(all)

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