An advance toward blood transfusions that require no typing

Mar 09, 2011

Scientists are reporting an "important step" toward development of a universal blood product that would eliminate the need to "type" blood to match donor and recipient before transfusions. A report on the "immunocamouflage" technique, which hides blood cells from antibodies that could trigger a potentially fatal immune reaction that occurs when blood types do not match, appears in the ACS journal, Biomacromolecules.

Maryam Tabrizian and colleagues note that blood transfusions require a correct match between a donor and the recipient's blood. This can be a tricky proposition given that there are 29 different types, including the familiar ABO and Rh types. The wrong blood type can provoke serious immune reactions that result in or death, so scientists have long sought a way to create an all-purpose red blood cell for transfusions that doesn't rely on costly blood typing or donations of a specific blood type.

To develop this "universal" red blood cell, the scientists discovered a way to encase living, individual red blood cells within a multilayered polymer shell. The shell serves as a cloaking device, they found, making the cell invisible to a person's immune system and able to evade detection and rejection. Oxygen can still penetrate the polymer shell, however, so the red cells can carry on their main business of supplying oxygen to the body. "The results of this study mark an important step toward the production of universal RBCs," the study states.

Explore further: Major step forward in understanding of viruses as scientists unlock exact structure of Hep A virus

More information: "Investigation of Layer-by-Layer Assembly of Polyelectrolytes on Fully Functional Human Red Blood Cells in Suspension for Attenuated Immune Response", Biomacromolecules.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

First paper 'dipstick' test for determining blood type

Jun 02, 2010

Scientists are reporting development of the first "dipstick" test for instantly determining a person's blood type at a cost of just a few pennies. Their study on the test, which involves placing a drop of ...

Filtering donor blood reduces heart, lung complications

Jun 22, 2010

Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) have discovered yet another reason to filter the foreign white cells from donor blood: The resulting blood product is associated with dramatically fewer cardiopulmonary ...

Recommended for you

World's fastest manufacture of battery electrodes

1 hour ago

New world record: Scientists at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) increased the manufacturing speed of electrode foils coated batch-wise by a factor of three – to 100 meters per minute. This was ...

Waste, an alternative source of energy to petroleum

2 hours ago

The group led by Martín Olazar, researcher in the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country's Department of Chemical Engineering, is studying the development of sustainable refineries where it is possible ...

Researchers developing new thermal interface materials

2 hours ago

In the microelectronics world, the military and private sectors alike need solutions to technologic challenges. Dr. Mustafa Akbulut, assistant professor of chemical engineering, and two students lead a project ...

New insights on carbonic acid in water

17 hours ago

Though it garners few public headlines, carbonic acid, the hydrated form of carbon dioxide, is critical to both the health of the atmosphere and the human body. However, because it exists for only a fraction ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

cyberCMDR
not rated yet Mar 09, 2011
I wonder if this approach can be used in vivo to treat areas inflammed through autoimmune reactions?