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Biotechnol Adv. 2011 Nov-Dec;29(6):661-6. doi: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2011.05.002. Epub 2011 May 14.

Manufactured RBC--rivers of blood, or an oasis in the desert?

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Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, The University of Queensland, QLD 4072, Australia.


Red blood cell (RBC) transfusion is an essential practice in modern medicine, one that is entirely dependent on the availability of donor blood. Constraints in donor supply have led to proposals that transfusible RBC could be manufactured from stem cells. While it is possible to generate small amounts of RBC in vitro, very large numbers of cells are required to be of clinical significance. We explore the challenges facing large scale manufacture of RBC and technological developments required for such a scenario to be realised.

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