Thursday, February 16, 2023

Artificial Blood

Here's an article about an artificial blood substitute being developed by a research physician from the University of Maryland School of Medicine:

Artificial Blood One Step Closer

It's not meant to replace regular blood transfusions, but as a supply in emergencies for purposes such as to "stabilize a patient’s blood pressure or facilitate blood clotting." The goal is "to develop a bio-synthetic whole-blood product that can be freeze-dried for easy portability, storage, and reconstitution." Instant blood, just add water! The main ingredient will be "ErythroMer, the artificial blood product made by KaloCyte, a company co-founded by Dr. Doctor in 2016 with bioengineer and synthetic chemist Dipanjan Pan, PhD, MSc, professor in nanomedicine at Penn State University, and Philip Spinella, MD, a military transfusion medicine expert at the University of Pittsburgh." The two other main components are "synthetic platelets and freeze-dried plasma."

Here's a Wikipedia entry about various kinds of blood substitutes:

Blood Substitute

The most difficult function to duplicate, as well as the most important, is the transportation of oxygen. Several different varieties of manufactured hemoglobin have been tried. Another potential alternative might be growing red blood cells from stem cells in vitro.

As a fan, scholar, and writer of vampire fiction, naturally I wonder whether the University of Maryland's artificial blood product could nourish vampires. Could it serve the function of True Blood in the Sookie Stackhouse series, allowing vampires to "come out of the coffin" as accepted members of society? Whole blood includes many components besides those found in present-day blood substitutes. Which of those ingredients are necessary for vampires to thrive? If the growth of stem-cell-generated hemoglobin could be perfected, that would seem the best product for both medical uses and vampire nutrition.

Margaret L. Carter

Carter's Crypt

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