October 25, 2010 |
In the "True Blood" television series, sexy vampires quaff bottles of artificial blood that allow them to live alongside humans in polite society. In real life, people in distress need artificial blood, and scientists are working on several synthetic concoctions that could stand in for the crucial body fluid. Every year, 4.5 million Americans receive lifesaving transfusions, according to the New York Blood Center, and 1 in 3 people will need blood at some point in their lifetime.
November 26, 1992 |
Physicians began to search in the 17th Century for potent fluids that could substitute for blood. They experimented by transfusing wine and ale into animals; they tried using dog and lamb blood in human patients--with fatal results. In a bizarre 19th-Century fad that swept the United States, medical researchers even infused milk from cows, goats and humans into the veins of patients.
February 21, 2011
Surgeons could use artificial blood vessels in several ways: Coronary artery bypass grafts: If one of the heart's arteries is blocked or diseased, a new vessel may be necessary. Surgeons can harvest arteries and veins from elsewhere in the patient's body, but they're in limited supply. Peripheral bypass grafts: Atherosclerosis can narrow arteries beyond the heart. Again, the body has only so many options for replacement. Kidney dialysis shunts: People on dialysis need an easily accessible vessel containing fast-moving blood.
November 29, 1985
Artificial blood cells made of hemoglobin encased in fat successfully substituted for the real thing in animal tests and may be used one day in human transfusions, researchers reported at the University of California, San Francisco. They said the substitute cells can be stored longer than whole blood, could be given to patients of any blood type and could also be used in veterinary surgery.
February 21, 2011
The artificial vessels created by Humacyte do not perfectly mimic nature's recipe. They lack a major component of natural vessels: the protein elastin. Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh have now coaxed engineered vessels to make elastin, they reported Feb. 3 in the online edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The rubber-band material that allows veins and arteries to snap back into shape after every pulse, elastin has long been one of the greatest challenges in any attempt to make artificial blood vessels.
March 8, 1985 |
A young car mechanic who endured two heart transplants and 11 hours on a stopgap artificial blood pump died at 1:20 p.m. today, doctors at the University of Arizona Medical Center said. Thomas Creighton, 33, had shown improvement in the functioning of his lungs and was breathing easier earlier in the day, although he still needed the help of a respirator, doctors said.
April 25, 1994 |
Some major manufacturers of materials used to make heart valves, artificial blood vessels and other implants have been warning medical equipment companies that they will be cutting off supplies because they fear lawsuits, a published report said. The new policies have not forced important products from the market, but implant companies are struggling to find other suppliers, the New York Times said in today's editions.
December 20, 2006 |
Shares of Northfield Laboratories Inc. lost more than half their value after the company said that more deaths occurred among patients given its synthetic blood product than among those not receiving the treatment in a study. There were 46 deaths among 349 patients receiving the product, called PolyHeme, compared with 35 among 363 people getting a standard treatment, Northfield said Tuesday.
May 15, 1994 |
Roy J. Plunkett, a DuPont Co. chemist who discovered Teflon, which became a wide-ranging part of American life from frying pans to artificial blood vessels, has died. A DuPont Co. spokesman said Friday from company headquarters that Plunkett had died Thursday at his home in Corpus Christi, Tex. The DuPont spokesman said Plunkett was 83 and died after a brief illness. Plunkett was working as a research chemist for DuPont in 1938 when he discovered the material.
January 26, 1994 |
Since the earthquake, Southern Californians have been rolling up their sleeves to donate blood, says Barbara Wilks, an American Red Cross spokeswoman. Some were responding to donation requests made when the blood supply here dropped dangerously low in early January; other donors thought the quake might greatly increase the need for blood. "The supply is now in good shape, except for Group O, which is in chronic short supply," Wilks says. Here, some commonly asked questions about blood donations.