Developmental trend of artificial blood (artificial red blood cells)

Shinji Takeoka*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Regarding research on artificial blood, the "Field of Artificial Blood Development" was inaugurated in 1997, supported by the Ministry of Health and Welfare Grant-in-Aid for Health Science Research, for intensive research activities in the three sub-fields, i.e., artificial red blood cells, artificial platelets, and artificial antibodies. Developed by molecular assembling technology, artificial red blood cells, in the form of hemoglobin vesicles comprising hemoglobin encapsulated with a phospholipid bilayer as a highly efficient oxygen carrier, are now under investigation in laboratory animals to verify their function and safety. These vesicles are characterized by a particle size about 1/30 that of erythrocytes, preservability in a liquid state for 2 years at room temperature, and a sufficient retention time in circulating blood without evoking activation of platelet or complements. The hemoglobin vesicles have proven both to possess a high oxygen-carrying capacity in massive exchange transfusion studies in rodents, and to be remarkably safe, based on blood biochemical tests and pathologic findings in load-dosing and repeated-dose studies. Their noticeable safety against active oxygen has also been demonstrated. A joint industry, government, and university research project on artificial red blood cells is in progress with the present objective of developing a complement to transfusion therapy for emergency lifesaving.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-139
Number of pages5
JournalJapan Medical Association Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Mar 1


  • Artificial blood
  • Artificial red blood cells
  • Function and safety evaluation
  • Hemoglobin vesicles

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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