Scientists Just Created Artificial Red Blood Cells That May Be Even Better Than The Real Thing
Thanks to rapid advances in technology, prosthetic limbs and artificial organs are pushing past the limits of what nature provides us. It's now blood's turn for a boost, with researchers finding a new way to mimic the tissue that carries oxygen.By combining biological material with lab-grown polymers, an international team of bioengineers has developed what could be thought of as a Terminator red cell - one more than capable of matching the talents of what's already in our veins.Not only can this microscopic cyborg squeeze through the nooks and crannies of a vascular system with its usual haemoglobin, it can be modified to deliver tumour-killing medications, carry biosensors, and even be studded with tiny magnets for the ultimate in remote guidance.
If you're going to attempt to reconfigure any cell in the human body, you really can't go past the red blood cell (RBC). One of the few cells that lack a nucleus, the red cell has a relative simplicity that makes it an attractive target for engineers to build upon.What's more, our dependence on huge amounts of clean, freshly donated products to replace blood lost through trauma puts a high demand on finding a suitable substitute.
Hence, there are several synthetic RBCs already in development. Many rely on scavenging key materials such as haemoglobin from human or animal donors and repackaging them into benign particles that are unlikely to trigger an immune response.
PICTURE #2(benefits of artificial blood)
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