I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m not the best person to call if you happen to be bleeding and need help. I tend to succumb to gravity pretty quickly, which has also prevented me from being a generous donor. But I know I’m not alone, and in a continuing effort to find a reliable source for blood that doesn’t require sticking people with needles, researchers at Edinburgh University have developed a new type of faux blood that could be ready for human testing in as little as two years.
Their technique involves growing stem cells taken from the bone marrow of healthy adults into a new material that’s very close to the red blood cells grown naturally in humans. Moreso, the artificial blood they create would be the rare, and highly sought after, type O-negative which can be used in 98 percent of patients. And it would be guaranteed to be free of infections like HIV or Hepatitis. The researchers are confident that their process has been perfected to the point where clinical trials could begin in just two years. But since their technique only produces red blood cells, they’d have to then work with other researchers to combine it with artificial hemoglobins before the artificial blood could become part of regular hospital use. A process that could take up to another ten years. [MedicalXpress via Inhabitat]