Home pagePress monitoringFirst human patients receive transfusions of lab-grown...

First human patients receive transfusions of lab-grown blood cells

Date: 9.11.2022 

For the first time ever, human patients have received transfusions of blood cells that were grown from stem cells in a lab. A clinical trial investigating the safety of the procedure is currently underway, which could revolutionize blood transfusions.

Kredit: NHSBT.Blood donations can be life-saving, especially for people with disorders like sickle cell anemia. But demand far outstrips supply, and matching blood types is an extra hassle that often results in patients missing out even as donated blood goes to waste.

An attractive alternative would be large-scale production of red blood cells in labs, which can be tuned to have whichever blood type is needed. Scientists have been working towards this goal for decades, and now a major milestone has been achieved with the first ever transfusion of lab-grown blood into human patients.

The technique still starts with blood from a donor, but in this case it’s not the red blood cells scientists are after – it’s the blood stem cells. These are isolated and placed in a nutrient solution for 18 to 21 days, encouraging them to multiply and develop into more mature blood cells. These are then further purified and stored, ready for transfusion.

The new clinical trial, named RESTORE, is designed to test the safety of transfusions of these manufactured blood cells, as well as how long they last in the body. Red blood cells normally have a lifespan of around 120 days, but conventionally donated blood contains a random sample of cells of different ages. Lab-grown blood, on the other hand, is all made “fresh,” so it should all reliably last up to 120 days.

Image source: NHSBT.




  • BC AV CR
  • Budvar
  • CAVD
  • CZBA
  • Eco Tend
  • Envisan Gem
  • Gentrend
  • JAIP
  • Jihočeská univerzita
  • Madeta
  • Forestina