Artificial oxygen carriers
American researchers have developed synthetic particles that closely mimic the key features and functions of the globules natural red, mainly the ability to carry oxygen.
One of the solutions to deal with the decline in blood donations is the production of artificial blood capable of performing the same functions as the fluid circulating in our veins. A goal not so simple to achieve because blood cells have very special characteristics. Starting with red blood cells, or red blood cells, which provide in the body the transport of oxygen from the lungs to different organs and tissues.
The progress made in the field of biomaterials and nanoparticles, however, give hope for progress in the coming years. An important first step seems to have been taken by researchers at the University of Santa Barbara, in collaboration with scientists from the University of Michigan.
They synthesized particles that mimic the structural and functional characteristics of red blood cells. Similar to their natural counterparts, Synthetic Blood Red Cells (sBRCs) have the ability to carry oxygen through vessels, capillaries, smaller than their own diameter.
In addition, they can also carry drugs or contrast molecules to perform radiological examinations. And the technique used by researchers has other potentialities. In their article, published online at the PNAS website, they discuss the possibility of developing particles that mimic the shape and properties of diseased cells such as deformed red blood cells found in sickle cell anemia.