Man-made blood to be available for humans as early as two years, announced NHS. NHS scientists have confirmed that much awaited clinical trial of the synthetic blood will be conducted before 2017.
This synthetic blood brewed up in a laboratory is made from stem cells extracted from either the umbilical cord of new bon babies or the blood of adult donors. This artificial blood was created in Romania last year.
The world will witness a first of its kind trial when small quantities (teaspoons type) of synthetic blood will be administered to the volunteers to check for any possible reactions or side effects, and will allow scientists to examine the time artificial red blood cells can survive in the human body.
Until now artificial blood and its component parts have only been tested on laboratory mice.
There was a growing concern because the number of blood donations was falling drastically, people have become too busy or tattoos and exotic travel put donation out of the question.
Dr Nick Watkins, NHS Blood and Transplant assistant director of research and development, said the intention is not to replace human donation, but to offer specialist treatment for specific patient groups. Scientists across the globe have been investigating for a number of years how to manufacture red blood cells to offer an alternative to donated blood to treat patients.
Patients with sickle cell anaemia or other sickness which require blood transfusion can hugely benefit from this invention.
Minister for life sciences George Freeman said: “These exciting and pioneering developments demonstrate the world-leading research being done by our NHS.
“We are now working on an ambitious programme to further improve our work with donors and patients.”