Blood made in laboratory used on patients for the first time

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Scientists in the UK have for the first time ever given laboratory blood to a human patient.

At this stage, just a very small amount, around a couple of teaspoonfuls, is being tested to see how it performs inside the body.

If successful, it’s hoped the process could make it much easier to make blood for people with very rare blood groups.

The first two people have already received tiny amounts of the blood, which scientists say has gone well so far.

The trial now aims to test the blood of at least 10 healthy volunteers.

How did scientists grow blood?

Researchers from Bristol, Cambridge, London, and the NHS Blood and Transplant team were all involved in the development and trial.

They started with a normal human donation of a pint of blood (around 470ml). From this, magnetic beads were then used to separate out the stem cells – special cells that can be turned into different types of blood cells.
The stem cells were grown in large numbers in the laboratory, before being guided to become red blood cells.

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