NHS to conduct trails on 'artificial' blood

NHS to conduct trails on 'artificial' blood

UK's health service, the NHS has said that it is planning to start conducting trials on using artificial blood used grown in the laboratory.

The NHS indicated that it will start using blood grown in the laboratory in trials on patients soon. The blood was made from stem cells taken from umbilical cords and from adult donors. They also said that the use of artificial blood will not do away with the requirement of donating blood.

The blood from laboratories will be used initially to treat people with rare blood types and conditions. The NHS is planning to begin test in 2017on healthy volunteers and involve only 5-10ml of blood. Experts say that the prospect of producing large scale blood is still in distant future but it will offer benefits like not being affected by diseases carried by living donors.

Dr Nick Watkins, assistant director of research and development at NHS Blood and Transplant, said, "Scientists across the globe have been investigating for a number of years how to manufacture red blood cells to offer an alternative to donated blood to treat patients.We are confident that by 2017 our team will be ready to carry out the first early-phase clinical trials in human volunteers."

Dr. Watkins also said that trials will compare manufactured cells with donated blood. He also said that the purpose is not to replace blood donation but provide specialist treatment for specific patient groups.


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