According to the official website of NHSBT, the first clinical trial of transfusion of artificial blood, the “Recovery and Survival of Red Blood Cells of Stem Cell Origin” (RESTORE) trial, was recently conducted in the UK.
There have been 2 healthy participants in the clinical trial, fed with laboratory cultured red blood cells in varying amounts, but around 5 to 10 ml.
The 2 participants are currently being monitored closely and have not had adverse side effects and are both healthy.
These red blood cells are cultured by researchers in a laboratory from stem cells in the blood of blood donors.
The trial will include at least 10 participants who will receive 2 (at least 4 months apart) mini-transfusions, one of standard donor red cells and the other of lab-cultured red cells, to determine if the lab-made young red cells live longer than human-made cells.
The trial is the first step in using laboratory-cultured red blood cells as a future clinical product.
If proven safe and effective, artificially manufactured blood cells may revolutionize the treatment of patients suffering from blood disorders such as sickle cell disease.
Some people with these disorders have difficulty finding enough matches for donor blood.
It would also reduce iron overload from frequent transfusions, which can lead to serious complications.