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: Following a protein's travel inside cells is key to improving patient monitoring, drug development

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

New method to analyse how cancer cells die

15 hours ago

(Phys.org) —A team from The University of Manchester – part of the Manchester Cancer Research Centre - have found a new method to more efficiently manufacture a chemical used to monitor cancer cells.

The anti-inflammatory factory

Apr 22, 2014

Russian scientists, in collaboration with their colleagues from Pittsburgh University, have discovered how lipid mediators are produced. The relevant paper was published in Nature Chemistry. Lipid mediators are molecules that p ...

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?

More news stories

Computer program could help solve arson cases

Sifting through the chemical clues left behind by arson is delicate, time-consuming work, but University of Alberta researchers teaming with RCMP scientists in Canada, have found a way to speed the process.

Genetic code of the deadly tsetse fly unraveled

Mining the genome of the disease-transmitting tsetse fly, researchers have revealed the genetic adaptions that allow it to have such unique biology and transmit disease to both humans and animals.

Ocean microbes display remarkable genetic diversity

The smallest, most abundant marine microbe, Prochlorococcus, is a photosynthetic bacteria species essential to the marine ecosystem. An estimated billion billion billion of the single-cell creatures live i ...