Synthetic Blood Could be Used by Everyone Regardless of Blood Type

By Gerald Lynch on at

Researchers at the University of Essex are working on an artificial supply of blood that could be administered to any person that needed a transfusion, no matter what their blood type.

The Haem02 team has just been giving £1.5 million in funding towards commercialising the results of its research. It is working on a hemoglobin-based oxygen carrier, a variant that can detoxify the iron and free radicals that are found in extracellular hemoglobin, giving the blood a two year shelf life and universal compatibility.

With blood donor numbers decreasing worldwide, this alternative could make a massive impact, particularly for those requiring rarer blood types. In the case of a disaster, the stock-pile could easily be stored at room temperature and given to all regardless of blood type. It also wouldn't require the strict viral screening that a traditional donor-sourced supply would. But if you're a member of Team Edward, I've heard its not half as tasty. [University of Essex via IFL Science]