Lab-Grown Blood Given in World-First Clinical Trial


For the first time in history lab-grown blood has been given to patients in a clinical trial. This blood is expected to be used to help doctors treat rare blood disorders in patients that require blood transfusions.

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Adapted from this article.

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Lab-Grown Blood Given in World-First Clinical Trial | Definition Match

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Full text for Lab-Grown Blood Given in World-First Clinical Trial:

Scientists have grown human red blood cells in a lab for the first time, and carried out a clinical trial to test it on patients.

How does it work? A donor gives a sample of blood. Then scientists use a process that encourages stem cells in the donated blood to become new red blood cells. This opens the door for transfusion treatments for people who have rare blood types.

For the majority of blood transfusions (for A, B, O, and AB blood types), hospitals will still rely on people donating. But what if a patient needs a blood transfusion from the “Bombay” blood group (a rare blood type that contains H antigens)?

Certain other diseases, such as sickle-cell anemia, require regular blood transfusions. A transfusion with the wrong blood type will be viewed as foreign and attacked by the immune system.

In this trial, tiny amounts of lab-grown blood containing radioactive particles were given to ten healthy patients so they can track how long the blood remains in the bloodstream. Red blood cells typically last 120 days. The body then replaces them. Because lab-grown blood only contains new cells, it may be possible for smaller, less frequent transplants.

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