Synthetic Red Blood Cells
May 18, 2011
Posted by on
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill have reached a tremendous achievement by developing particles that simulate the red blood cells in shape, size, and flexibility.
Using a fabrication process
called Particle Replication in Non-wetting Templates, or PRINT, 6 μm hydrogel discs are produced that can circulate through the body for 93 hours before they are excreted, compared to about 3 hours for the stiffer particles that are currently being researched.
Tests on the new discovery isn’t finished yet, the ability to perform the functions such as transporting oxygen or carrying therapeutic drugs is still haven’t finished, and the new discovery do not remain in the cardiovascular system as long as real red blood cells.
The new discovery could also lead to more effective treatments for life threatening medical conditions such as cancer.
Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine have grew and controlled the system of capillaries on a plastic matrix which isn’t toxic.
They modified polyethylene glycol (PEG), a common ingredient found in printer ink and toothpaste, to resemble the body’s extracelluar matrix. Growth factors derived from platelets were added to human umbilical cells, and the cells were then added to PEG that had been exposed to UV light.
When these new vascular networks were tested in corneas of mice, the blood flood normally in the new capillaries.
The importance of that discovery that flowing of blood supply to tissue structures could lead to new lab-grown tissue implants that was blocking the fabricating of human tissue blocks, artificial kidney cells, sight-restoring bio-synthetic corneas and more.