Scientists from Bristol University in the UK say they have found a way to mass produce blood that would be suitable for patients who need it in hospitals. For a number of years, they have been able to produce red blood cells in a laboratory. However, the process to do that was very slow and they could not produce a lot of blood. The new technique means scientists can make an "unlimited supply" of blood. Researcher Dr Jan Frayne said: "Previous approaches to producing red blood cells have relied on various sources of stem cells which can only presently produce very limited quantities." She added: "We have demonstrated a feasible way to sustainably manufacture red cells for clinical use."
Professor David Anstee, another of the researchers, told the BBC that his team has found a way to mass produce blood, but they now need the technology to actually do this on a large scale. He said: "There is a bioengineering challenge. To produce that much blood is quite a challenge….The next phase of our work is to look at methods of producing more." He told reporters that to begin with, they would produce only rare types of blood, as these can be difficult to find with traditional blood donation sources. He said: "The first therapeutic use of a cultured red cell product is likely to be for patients with rare blood groups, because suitable conventional red blood cell donations can be difficult to source."