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p. 1247. Epilogue: the future of bloodlocked

  • Chris Cooper

Abstract

For a long time, synthetic biologists have attempted to manufacture an artificial, easily stored and transported, blood substitute that does not require blood typing, is long lasting, and can be guaranteed pathogen free. Three different methods have been attempted to replace red blood cell transfusions: the use of perfluorocarbons, inert chemicals that, in liquid form, can dissolve gases without reacting with them; creating a haemoglobin-based blood substitute—but despite almost a billion dollars of research and development there is not one in general use today; and growing artificial red blood cells using stem cell technology—but doing this safely, reproducibly, and in large amounts is a huge bioengineering challenge.

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