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Thread: Why cant synthetic blood replace regular blood?

  1. #1 Why cant synthetic blood replace regular blood? 
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    Im wondering because i read this about synthetic blood from wikipedia:

    Blood substitutes (also called artificial blood or blood surrogates) are used to fill fluid volume and/or carry oxygen and other blood gases in the cardiovascular system. Although commonly used, the term is not accurate since human blood performs many important functions which blood substitutes may not. Red blood cells transport oxygen, white blood cells defend against disease, platelets promote clotting, and plasma proteins perform various functions.
    This doesent make much sense as everything the body needs in form of pretty much anything can be created easily in a lab or outside the human body right? Why cant blood we create ourselves replace that made by the body? Is it money, technology or is it our body that is lacking?

    I thought the entire digestion system was there only to give the body nutrition by giving fuel to our blood. So if we could just refuel our bodies with synthetic blood the digestive system should become absolete, bringing us one step closer to mechanizing humans in the future.


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  3. #2 Re: Why cant synthetic blood replace regular blood? 
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell
    Im wondering because i read this about synthetic blood from wikipedia:

    Blood substitutes (also called artificial blood or blood surrogates) are used to fill fluid volume and/or carry oxygen and other blood gases in the cardiovascular system. Although commonly used, the term is not accurate since human blood performs many important functions which blood substitutes may not. Red blood cells transport oxygen, white blood cells defend against disease, platelets promote clotting, and plasma proteins perform various functions.
    This doesent make much sense as everything the body needs in form of pretty much anything can be created easily in a lab or outside the human body right?
    No. We can't reliably make red blood cells or most kinds of white blood cells in the lab. We can make some of the simple proteins found in blood, such as clotting factors, but culturing the cells is pretty tricky, expensive and does not result in new cells. We can culture white blood cells such as T and B cells and make them proliferate, but this is antigen-specific expansion when what we want is a way to grow lots of naive cells or progenitors. Stem cell technology will probably allow this in time, but right now we can't do it.


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  4. #3 Re: Why cant synthetic blood replace regular blood? 
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBiologista
    No. We can't reliably make red blood cells or most kinds of white blood cells in the lab. We can make some of the simple proteins found in blood, such as clotting factors, but culturing the cells is pretty tricky, expensive and does not result in new cells. We can culture white blood cells such as T and B cells and make them proliferate, but this is antigen-specific expansion when what we want is a way to grow lots of naive cells or progenitors. Stem cell technology will probably allow this in time, but right now we can't do it.
    When/if we ARE able to make perfect synthetic blood that can replace regular blood, could this make any organs absolete?
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  5. #4 Re: Why cant synthetic blood replace regular blood? 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell

    When/if we ARE able to make perfect synthetic blood that can replace regular blood, could this make any organs absolete?
    Not unless you imagine people would prefer to buy their blood from retail outlets. It might make blood donation and banking obsolete, if it happens to be more cost effective.
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  6. #5  
    Forum Freshman Mark Ian's Avatar
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    we're working on the synthetic blood thing, itll just take some time, science likes taking its time
    An old approach to do this would be tracking down the gene for the organelle that produces human blood, and plant this gene into some other organism. or not.
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