History of Blood Substitutes (2)
- Research began in the 1960’s. Iron-rich hemoglobin compounds were used to carry oxygen to tissues but they caused kidney toxicity.
- In the 1980’s, work resumed when the blood supply became contaminated with HIV. The newer compounds caused vasoconstriction, constriction and collapsing of blood vessels and capillaries because hemoglobin scavenges NO (nitric oxide) from the linings of blood vessel walls which is necessary for the smooth operation of muscles.
- 1998 the British government bought an American company to provide blood to the UK. They cannot use their own blood due to the risk of contamination with vCJD (Mad Cow Disease).
- Research in the 1990s and 2000s has produced several blood substitutes, such as Biopure, Oxygent, and MP4.
- MP4 is made from human blood.
- Biopure is made from cow’s blood.
- Oxygent is totally synthetic, similar to Teflon, a non-heme based molecule.