Clinical trials of blood obtained in the laboratory have started

(ORDO NEWS) — In the UK, the world’s first clinical trials on transfusion of blood grown “in vitro” have begun.

In the future, this technology will make it possible to save people who need the blood of extremely rare and scarce groups.

British researchers have learned how to get the right amount of blood of any, even the rarest group, “growing” it in the laboratory from donor stem cells.

Recently, a new technology has moved to the first phase of clinical trials, so that doctors can follow the body’s response to the first, while very small doses of such blood.

On the surface of red blood cells there are many different proteins and carbohydrates. Their set is individual and determines the blood type of a person.

Antigens of the blood group of the AB0 system and the Rh factor are widely known. However, there are dozens of others, and scientists keep discovering new ones.

Differences in them are much less common, but sometimes patients have to consider these options when transfusing blood.

In such cases, doctors are faced with a serious shortage of donated blood of the desired group.

Scientists from Cambridge, Bristol and other British universities have developed a new method that promises to solve this problem.

To do this, you need to find a suitable donor and take a dose of blood from him. With the help of a system of magnets, stem cells, the precursors of red blood cells, are filtered out of it.

These cells are stimulated to divide, grow, and differentiate into adult red blood cells. Finally, cells that have reached full maturity and are ready for transfusion are selected from them.

Scientists have already tested such blood on two volunteers and found no dangerous effects. On average, about 500,000 stem cells can be isolated from an initial dose of 470 milliliters of blood.

Of these, about 50 million red blood cells are obtained, in order to eventually select about 15 million. The blood received in the laboratory is much more expensive than the usual donor.

However, it can be invaluable in saving the lives of patients with rare groups.

Now the new technology has moved into the first phase of clinical trials. At least ten adult healthy volunteers will participate in the experiments.

They will receive two minimal (five to ten milliliters) doses spaced apart in time by more than four months (120 days) – this is the normal life of red blood cells.

The first dose of regular donated blood will allow you to get control scores before making a second, “laboratory” one.

In addition, both doses are pre-modified by placing additional radioactive labels on the surface of erythrocytes.

This will allow scientists to follow their fate and lifespan in the bodies of volunteers.

It is not for nothing that the trials are called RESTORE, “Recovery and survival of stem cell originated red cells”. We will know the results of these experiments next year.


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