Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Bioreactors Might Solve Blood-platelet Supply Problems

Date:
December 28, 2008
Source:
Ohio State University Medical Center
Summary:
It might be possible to grow human blood platelets in the laboratory for transfusion, according to a new study. The findings might help end the tight supply of these critical blood components. Platelets are needed by certain cancer patients, bone marrow transplant patients, those needing massive blood transfusions and people with aplastic anemia. But concentrates from donors are expensive and up to 40 percent must be discarded.

It might be possible to grow human blood platelets in the laboratory for transfusion, according to a new study at The Ohio State University Medical Center.

The findings, published in the January 1, 2009 issue of the journal Experimental Hematology, might one day enable blood banks to grow platelets continuously and in quantities that can ease the chronically tight supply of these critical blood components.

About 13 million platelet concentrates are collected annually in the United States at a cost of about $1 billion. They are needed by people who lack platelets or whose platelets function improperly, such as certain cancer chemotherapy patients, bone marrow transplant patients, trauma patients given massive blood transfusions and people with aplastic anemia.

The concentrates from volunteer donors are expensive to make, require 10 or more tests for pathogens and have a shelf life of only five days. As a result, 20 to 40 percent of platelet concentrates are discarded. Red blood cells, by contrast, last 56 days.

The short shelf life means platelets cannot easily be shipped from an area of surplus to one of scarcity, and hospitals occasionally experience shortages that require surgeries to be postponed.

Attempts by others to grow platelets have produced only small numbers for a short time, says principal investigator, Larry C. Lasky, associate professor of pathology at Ohio State and a specialist in transfusion medicine and blood banking.

"We were pleasantly surprised to achieve continuous production for a month," Lasky says. "It is easy to imagine a series of these chambers producing platelets. It would be ideal for clinical use and possibly solve the short shelf-life problem. Using good manufacturing practices would prevent bacterial contamination."

Currently, platelets are collected either from donated blood or by apheresis. Apheresis is an expensive and time-consuming process that involves taking blood from one arm, passing it through a machine that isolates the platelets, and then returning it to the other arm. The method yields four to six platelet units per donor.

For this study, Lasky and his colleagues isolated hematopoietic stem cells, which produce blood cells, from blood taken from umbilical cords following normal, full-term deliveries. The stem cells were grown to greater numbers, then added to the bioreactors – chambers with several layers for gas and growth-media control. Control cells were grown in culture flasks. Other attempts to grow platelets have usually used culture flasks or similar two-dimensional systems.

After a few days of growth, a solution of growth factors was added to both groups to stimulate the cells to form large, bone-marrow cells called megakaryocytes, which shed bits of themselves as platelets.

The three-dimensional bioreactor produced up to 1.2 million platelets per day, with production continuing for more than 32 days, while the two-dimensional system generated a maximum of about 350,000 platelets per day over a ten-day period.

Lasky and his colleagues are now modifying the process to increase the yield of platelets.

Funding from the Third Frontier Program of Ohio, and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute supported this research.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio State University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ohio State University Medical Center. "Bioreactors Might Solve Blood-platelet Supply Problems." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081223091314.htm>.
Ohio State University Medical Center. (2008, December 28). Bioreactors Might Solve Blood-platelet Supply Problems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081223091314.htm
Ohio State University Medical Center. "Bioreactors Might Solve Blood-platelet Supply Problems." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081223091314.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

How Nigeria Beat Its Ebola Outbreak

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) The World Health Organization has declared Nigeria free of Ebola. Health experts credit a bit of luck and the government's initial response. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Another Study Suggests Viagra Is Good For The Heart

Newsy (Oct. 20, 2014) An ingredient in erectile-dysfunction medications such as Viagra could improve heart function. Perhaps not surprising, given Viagra's history. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Ebola Worries End for Dozens on U.S. Watch Lists

Reuters - US Online Video (Oct. 20, 2014) Forty-three people who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S., were cleared overnight of twice-daily monitoring after 21 days of showing no symptoms. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

CDC Calls for New Ebola Safety Guidelines

AP (Oct. 20, 2014) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Tom Frieden laid out new guidelines for health care workers when dealing with the deadly Ebola virus including new precautions when taking off personal protective equipment. (Oct. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins