SAN DIEGO – An artificial red blood cell has come close to emulating the key functions of natural cells and does not appear to be associated with the side effects such as vasospasm and poor response to changes in blood pH that hampered the development of previous artificial blood products, Allan Doctor, MD, reported at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology.
The bio-synthetic cells, called ErythroMer, are about 1/50th the size of natural red blood cells. They can be stored at room temperature and reconstituted with water when needed for use.
In a mouse model, the ErythroMer cells were shown to capture oxygen in the lungs and release it to tissue in a pattern that was nearly identical to blood transfusion. In a rat model of shock, ErythroMer was effective for resuscitation.
In a, Dr. Doctor of Washington University in St. Louis discussed the pharmacokinetics of ErythroMer, the need for a readily available blood substitute for treating trauma patients, other potential uses for artificial blood cells, and next steps for testing the product.
Dr. Doctor has equity ownership in KaloCyte, the company developing ErythroMer. He receives research funding from Children’s Discovery Institute and the National Institutes of Health.