Scots scientists ‘using stem cells to make blood’

Published: 11 December 2014

A Scottish-led consortium of medical experts is using stem cell technology to create a limitless supply of fresh human blood in the laboratory for use in clinics around the world.

The £5 million “BloodPharma Project” is being led by the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) with the Universities of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Heriot-Watt, NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) and Irish Blood Transfusion Service (IBTS) using stem cells produced by Roslin Cells Ltd.

The team have been working with embryonic or induced pluripotent stem cells, which, given the right culture conditions, can differentiate into any type of cells.

Once they have the all-clear, the researchers will move on to limited human tests in 2016-17, before hopefully moving on to a trial for safety and effectiveness in patients with beta thalassemia, an inherited blood disorder, in 2018-19.

Over the past four years the researchers have been working out how to make embryonic stem cells turn into red blood cells that could be mass-produced.

Read full article at The Scotsman

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