A new program launched by the Department of Defense could be the answer to blood shortages on the battlefield, other remote locations, and in hospitals. The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences’ 4D Bio3 On-Demand Blood Program, or 4D Bio3 Blood, has developed highly efficient protocols and technology to generate red blood cells from stem cells. A key part of this technology is large-scale cell expansion at low cost, producing sufficient red blood cells for treatment in trauma care. This technology is also being adapted to create neutrophils, ultimately allowing for whole blood transfusion using these methods in the future.
While the donation and transfusion of blood are very common, and relatively simple as far as medical procedures go, the path from donor to recipient is more complex than most people may realize.