We are on the brink of a great discovery! We may no longer have the need for other folks’ red blood cells (RBCs)!
Safe from known and unknown disease transmission, artificial red blood cells are designed to act exactly like natural occurring RBCs. Wunderbar!
At the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, researchers developed what, if determined to be safe for use in humans, would revolutionize trauma care, never mind help treat countless other conditions that require blood transfusions.
The artificial cells, called ErythroMer, are designed to be “freeze–dried, stored at ambient temperatures, and simply reconstituted with water when needed.”* Just add water! (Sterile water, of course!) Bioengineers created this “nano” donut-like sphere with a control system to hook onto oxygen depending upon the pH (environment) it is in. So, in the lungs it hooks onto oxygen, and elsewhere it releases it. Pretty NEAT! Testing in large animals is next, and yes, then in humans. But as the title states, it may take 10-12 years for ErythroMer to reach us.