A group of nanotechnologists managed to create artificial blood cells. Synthetic red blood cells are able to mimic natural. In addition, they have special unique abilities. First of all, they can transport the oxygen, and secondly, they are endowed with the ability to deliver therapeutic drugs and other “loads” to the blood. The scientists from around the world have repeatedly tried to create artificial red blood cells.
For that, a different basis was used, up to polymers. But the researchers at ACS Nano did more. The synthetic red blood cells they created are endowed with all the abilities that are in natural cells, and in addition, they also have new abilities.
The scientists had plans to create artificial blood cells that could recreate the same processes that occur in the human body: flexibility, oxygen transport, a long period of circulation. But most of the artificially created red blood cells had only a few key signs of similarity with the real ones.
The scientists sought to add maximum resemblance to natural versions. As a result, they managed to make a synthetic version that has all the abilities of natural human cells. Red blood cells are important for the body in that they are able to absorb oxygen from the lungs, and then move it to various tissues and organs.
The cells are disk-shaped and each contains millions of hemoglobin molecules. That is an important iron-containing protein that binds oxygen. The red blood cells are very flexible, they penetrate through tiny capillaries. On their surface, they contain proteins that allow them to circulate through blood vessels for a long time.
Wei Zhu, Jeffrey Brinker and their colleagues were able to create artificial red blood cells that have both natural properties and new abilities. These include therapeutic drug delivery, magnetic targeting and detection of toxins.