Artificial Blood for Transfusions: What Do They Involve?

Artificial respiration, artificial hearts... Is it possible that science will also develop artificial blood? Find out in today's article
Artificial Blood for Transfusions: What Do They Involve?

Last update: 27 May, 2022

Every year, dozens of buses travel through numerous cities around the world, trying to encourage people to donate blood. The demand is increasing, especially in the summer when the number of accidents is usually on the rise. However, more donors are still necessary. With that in mind, is it possible to solve this challenge thanks to the use of artificial blood transfusions?

The news about the possibility of creating artificial blood appears in the Digital Journal, information that spread very quickly. In fact, it even appeared in several newspapers. The reason? Artificial blood transfusions could be the solution to a demand that, nowadays, is constantly on the rise.

Research on artificial blood transfusions

A person donating blood.
Artificial blood opens the door to a new type of donor that’s easily and quickly accessible to millions of people.

The possibility of using artificial blood for transfusions has attracted many people’s attention. However, research is still underway as to whether this can really be viable or will remain an experimental procedure.

Much more in-depth research and studies are necessary before we can confirm artificial blood as the new method for performing blood transfusions. Nevertheless, we’ll see below what this procedure involves. In the future, artificial blood just may become a very effective way of saving thousands of lives.

The ErythroMer study

The researchers who participated in this study belong to the University of Washington and published their findings in the American Society of Hematology (ASH). In their research, they achieved something completely innovative that promises to save thousands of lives.

The name of the study was not by chance. The term ErythroMer refers to a component that can replace blood. Although its degree of coincidence with red blood cells does not exceed 10%, researchers believe that even with this percentage ErythroMer would serve to stabilize an emergency patient.

Without a doubt, this is quite promising. There are different situations in which doctors need blood immediately. In the same way, there are areas where blood from donors doesn’t arrive quickly enough. ErythroMer could be the solution to these problems. But what procedure should be followed?

Read also: What Does a Heart Transplant Consist Of?

Artificial blood and its procedure

Blood in test tubes and syringes.
ErythroMer promises to be the substitute for human blood, even though it’s a low match to red blood cells.

The researchers involved in this study designed ErythroMer in powder form. This component contains artificial cells that perform the same functions as red blood cells. However, if its format is in powder form, how is transfusion possible?

  • First, professionals mix ErythroMer with water to make it injectable
  • Then, they store the component at room temperature
  • Users may carry it stored in a package

So, wherever you are, you can apply an artificial blood transfusion to anyone who needs it right away. All you need to do is mix the powder with water and apply the transfusion to whoever needs it immediately. A portable substitute for human blood that can save many more lives than we could even imagine.

Expectations about artificial blood

Scientists have already tested artificial blood on animals and the results they’ve reported have been quite good. To be more specific, the tests they’ve performed have managed to revive animals that were in a state of shock. However, further testing is still necessary before the method can become available for humans.

The expectations are quite hopeful. In a war, for example, it could mean saving lives with a fairly high success rate. Also, this can be a positive solution in remote areas. We must keep in mind that, at present, there are no simple methods for transporting donated blood. Therefore, ErythroMer could be the solution.

We’ll have to wait for more research before confirming that ErythroMer may be the new way to perform blood transfusions. We’ll follow the studies that continue closely and, hopefully, the results will be successful. The way we conceive of saving lives today may change radically in the near future.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Barbosa, Fabiano Timbó, Jucá, Mário Jorge, Castro, Aldemar Araujo, Duarte, José Lira, & Barbosa, Luciano Timbó. (2009). Artificial oxygen carriers as a possible alternative to red cells in clinical practice. Sao Paulo Medical Journal, 127(2), 97-100.
  • Bialas, C., Moser, C., & Sims, C. A. (2019). Artificial Oxygen Carriers and Red Blood Cell Substitutes: An Historic Overview and Recent Developments Toward Military and Clinical Relevance. The journal of trauma and acute care surgery.
  • Kobayashi, K., Tsuchida, E., & Horinouchi, H.. (2005). Artificial oxygen carrier: its front line. Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo, 47(1)

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.