The need for producing artificial blood is said to be huge business. Supposedly, over one billion pounds have been spent since the past 20 years to try create an accurate substitute to blood. Researchers from the University of Essex have apparently just presented a global patent for their engineered haemoglobin. The scientists are trying to find the artificial substitute for blood.
It is believed that more than 75 million units of donated blood are received by people all over the world for utilizing it in hospitals. Nevertheless, there appears to be mounting apprehensions about its applications in regular operations. A proper blood substitute could be quite functional as it may have an extensive shelf life, be hoarded away from hospitals, not necessary in matching blood group and one can be assured to be free of infection by any current or potential viruses.
The beginning ingredients for blood alternatives have supposedly encompassed chemicals applied to aid in making atom bombs, cow blood and blood grown in bacteria. Nevertheless, till date, the world’s scientists seemed to have been unsuccessful in generating a secure substitute to blood.
As per Professor Chris Cooper, a biochemist and blood substitute expert at the University of Essex, the cause of this failure is apparently due to haemoglobin, the red molecule within blood cells that transmits oxygen around the body. Outside the defending surroundings of the red cell, haemoglobin may be poisonous.
Professor Cooper explained, “Basically, haemoglobin produces free radicals that can damage the heart and kidneys. The trick with artificial blood is to modify the molecule to be less toxic, but still perform the vital role of carrying oxygen around the body. No one has managed this yet.”
Haemoglobin may usually change color from red to claret as it transmits oxygen around the body. Nonetheless, when it is impaired, the iron in haemoglobin is oxidized to generate dysfunctional brown and green products.
What makes Professor Cooper’s group engineered haemoglobin so extraordinary is that it appears to be less toxic.