Send to

Choose Destination
Yonsei Med J. 2014 Mar;55(2):304-9. doi: 10.3349/ymj.2014.55.2.304.

In-vitro stem cell derived red blood cells for transfusion: are we there yet?

Author information

Department of Laboratory Medicine, Yonsei University College of Medicine, 50-1 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-752, Korea.


To date, the use of red blood cells (RBCs) produced from stem cells in vitro has not proved practical for routine transfusion. However, the perpetual and widespread shortage of blood products, problems related to transfusion-transmitted infections, and new emerging pathogens elicit an increasing demand for artificial blood. Worldwide efforts to achieve the goal of RBC production through stem cell research have received vast attention; however, problems with large-scale production and cost effectiveness have yet to prove practical usefulness. Some progress has been made, though, as cord blood stem cells and embryonic stem cells have shown an ability to differentiate and proliferate, and induced pluripotent stem cells have been shown to be an unlimited source for RBC production. However, transfusion of stem cell-derived RBCs still presents a number of challenges to overcome. This paper will summarize an up to date account of research and advances in stem cell-derived RBCs, delineate our laboratory protocol in producing RBCs from cord blood, and introduce the technological developments and limitations to current RBC production practices.


CD34+ cell; erythroid culture; in vitro RBC production

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Yonsei University College of Medicine Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center