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Graphic element Research > Growth > Research projects > Previous projects > Medicine and Health > A chemically and physiologically inert oxygen-carrying body fluid substitute
Graphic element A chemically and physiologically inert oxygen-carrying body fluid substitute
An improved, low-cost and environmentally-friendly oxygenating emulsion replaces blood during open-heart and other surgery, in organ transplants, imaging and cancer treatment.

Blood transfusion is a fundamental procedure in modern medical practice, especially during surgery, but there are risks, including infection with hepatitis or AIDS. Furthermore, the costs of running blood banks, testing blood and cross-matching it with recipients are high. Recently the trend has been towards reducing the number of patients exposed to donated blood by having them predonate their own blood before surgery.

The objective of this project was to develop an improved oxygen-carrying emulsion for use as a body-fluid replacement in both medical and biotechnology applications. The new blood substitute, which can be stored and transported more easily than natural blood, is used during surgery, after which the patient's own blood is transfused back. Other applications include in organ transplants, where a blood substitute can extend the organ's storage period; in open-heart surgery, where it can extend the period during which the heart can be operated on; in diagnostic imaging; in cancer therapy and in the ventilation of premature babies. Unlike a similar US-product, the new emulsion is free from components which may damage the ozone layer.

The global market for oxygen-carrying body fluid replacements could be very large indeed, say partners, depending largely on US demand in the fields of transfusions, open-heart surgery and organ transplantation.

Cordis RCN: 23139
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