Scientists claim that they have achieved manufacturing red blood cells in laboratory. This blood will be safe for transfusion to any group and save precious human lives. Billions of red blood cells are made artificially by Jo Mountford in a laboratory in Glasgow. And now she wants to setup production on a larger scale.
Manufacturing blood cells in lab was already done but the issue was always the number of the blood cells produced. Producing new cells from the stem cells was used as a method before which allowed producing 50,000 blood cells per stem cell. One milliliter of blood approximately contains 5,000,000 blood cells and one bottle of blood for transfusion is approximately 250 milliliter of red blood cells.
Now a team of Bristol University succeeded to use stem cells in to a process where they can produce an unlimited number of red blood cells without dying or reducing production capacity which is a big achievement. One of the scientists of the team quoted that they have developed a new technique through which they can produce unlimited number of red blood cells and they have produced many liters of blood in their lab by the same process. But the technique need more research to start industrial production.
Mountford, who is also working on the same research from the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences at the University of Glasgow, started trying to create red blood cells in the lab in 2007 and is now able to create it on demand. Her team produced 100,000 red cells in 2008. Their output was 10 billion red blood cells by 2014. They produced 88 flasks of artificial blood cells which was about 8.8 Liters of blood. The team funded by the welcome trust and other incorporating universities and organizations from around the UK is now able to produce the cells in 30-31 days on demand for any blood group required.
Scientists are working to develop procedures to manufacturer blood on industrial purposes which need a lot of more
research and funding. The blood produced by the industries is expected to be extremely expensive and out of the reach of developing countries.
According to the WHO, about 112.5 million blood donations are collected globally, approximately half of these are collected in the high-income countries from 19% of the world’s population. In low-income countries, up to 65% of blood transfusions are given to children under 5 years of age; whereas in high-income countries, the most frequently transfused patient group is over 65 years of age, accounting for up to 76% of all transfusions.
The blood donation rate in high-income countries is 33.1 donations per 1000 people; 11.7 donations in middle-income countries and 4.6 donations in low-income countries.
An increase of 10.7 million blood donations from voluntary unpaid donors has been reported from 2008 to 2013. In total, 74 countries collect over 90% of their blood supply from voluntary unpaid blood donors; however, 72 countries collect more than 50% of their blood supply from family/replacement or paid donors.
Only 43 of 175 reporting countries produce plasma-derived medicinal products (PDMP) through the fractionation of plasma collected in the country, whereas the majority of the other 132 countries import PDMP from abroad.
Blood banks in the developing countries are always short of blood and family of the needy is forced to donate blood to save the lives of their loved ones. Manufacturing blood in industries on low cost can transform the whole transfusion system in the world.