UK Researchers Give Lab-Grown Blood To Humans In World-First Clinical Trial

UK Researchers Give Lab-Grown Blood To Humans In World-First Clinical Trial
Fecha de publicación: 
8 November 2022
Imagen principal: 

Blood grown in a laboratory has been transfused into humans in a world-first clinical trial that researchers in the United Kingdom say could significantly improve treatment for people with blood disorders and rare blood types. 

According to the BBC, two patients in the UK received tiny doses - equivalent to a couple of spoonfuls - of the lab-grown blood in the first stage of the trial designed to see how it performs inside the body. The trial, which will now be extended to 10 healthy volunteers over the course of several months, aims to study the lifespan of lab-grown cells compared with infusions of standard red blood cells. 

The UK researchers said that the aim of using lab-grown blood is not to replace regular human blood donations. In fact, they stated that the bulk of blood transfusions will always rely on people regularly rolling up their sleeves to donate. The ultimate goal of this trial, according to them, is to manufacture vital, but ultra-rare, blood groups that are hard to get hold of. 

Also Read | After A Solar Storm, A Stunning Pink Aurora Spotted In Earth's Night Skies

"This world-leading research lays the groundwork for the manufacture of red blood cells that can safely be used to transfuse people with disorders like sickle cell. The potential for this work to benefit hard-to-transfuse patients is very significant," said Dr Farrukh Shah, the medical director of transfusion at NHS Blood and Transplant, as per BBC

The trial, which was conducted by researchers in Bristol, Cambridge and London, as well as NHS Blood and Transplant, focuses on red blood cells that carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. 

Also Read | "Hope Servers Don't Melt": Elon Musk Claims Twitter Usage Is All-Time High

Researchers said that the for the trial, the lab-grown blood was tagged with a radioactive substance, often used in medical procedures, to monitor how long it lasts in the body. Now, this trial will be conducted on 10 volunteers, who will each receive two donations of 5-10mls four months apart to compare the cells' lifespan. 

Post a commentHowever, as per the outlet, the researchers also noted financial and technological challenges. They stated that growing blood will likely be more expensive than normal blood donation. Moreover, they also said that another challenge is that the harvested stem cells eventually exhaust themselves, which limits the amount of blood that be grown. More research is needed in order to produce the volumes that would be needed clinically.

Add new comment

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Enter the characters shown in the image.