Stem cells can be used to create limitless blood supplies: report
Wed Aug 20, 5:32 AM ET
WASHINGTON (AFP) - Scientists from a US firm claim to have created a large number of red blood cells from human embryonic stem cells, opening up the prospect of having a limitless supply of blood for transfusions.
"Limitations in the supply of blood can have potentially life-threatening consequences for patients with massive blood loss," said Robert Lanza, chief scientific officer at Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), a Worcester-based company.
"represent a new source of cells that can be propagated and expanded indefinitely, providing a potentially inexhaustible source of red blood cells for human therapy.
"We can currently generate 10 to 100 billion red blood cells from a single six-well plate of stem cells," he said in a paper published online in the Blood journal.
"The identification of a stem cell line with "O -" blood-type would permit the production of compatible "universal donor" blood," Lanza added.
The "O" blood type is a universal blood type and the only one that can be transfused to people with other blood types.
A blood type, or a blood group, is a classification of blood based on the presence or absence of inherited antigenic substances on the surface of red blood cells.