The number of potential and active blood donors is decreasing. Therefore with over 40 million transfusions of red blood cells worldwide, the challenge is to have enough blood in the right place at the right time and be assured of its quality, purity and efficacy.
“With over 40 million transfusions of red blood cells worldwide, the challenge is to have enough blood in the right place at the right time”
Previously unknown blood-borne pathogens appear regularly and can infect blood donors. Yet laboratory tests to identify these new agents take time to be developed, leaving populations exposed to risk. Even expensive pathogen inactivation systems do not claim to remove all pathogens, but only to reduce the burden of infective agents.
Blood generally needs to be typed and matched to a donor and can only be stored once collected in specific conditions for certain amounts of time. Our product will not need to be typed as it is ‘type-independent’ and our aim is for it to be stored for extended time periods in ambient conditions enabling it to be carried on-hand in emergency situations.
Numerous companies have tried in the past to create artificial (clean) blood substitutes capable of carrying oxygen to the body’s tissues, but have failed to solve toxicity or safety issues. It is our belief that a major reason for this failure is an inability to control the redox activity of hemoglobin.
Further information and a non-technical description about the blood substitute field.
A film about the project by ITV News Essex scientists develop artificial blood substitute.