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UK plans world’s first artificial blood transfusions soon

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UK is set to do world’s first human trials of artificial blood grown in lab from stem cells by 2017.

National Health Service of UK has announced that the manufactured blood will be used in clinical trials with human volunteers within two years.

Researchers used stem cells from adult and umbilical cord blood to create a small volume of manufactured red blood cells.

If these trials are successful then it will offer an alternative to patients with blood disorders such as sickle cell Anaemia and Thalassemia who require treatment with regular transfusions and for whom it is difficult to find compatible donors.

The clinical trial of manufactured red blood cells is designed to compare the survival of red cells manufactured from stem cells with that of standard blood donor red blood cells.

Dr Nick Watkins, NHS Blood and Transplant’s assistant director of research and development said,” Scientists across the globe have been investigating for a number of years how to manufacture red blood cells to offer an alternative to donated blood to treat patients”.

We are confident that by 2017 our team will be ready to carry out the first early phase clinical trials in human volunteers, he added.

These trials will not replace blood donation but will provide specialist treatment for specific patient groups.