This has to be the coolest idea in blood technology in along time. Basically taking human blood and removing the water would make blood transfusions portable enough that anyone could carry it with you. Imagine a first aid kit that would have some freeze dried blood in your blood type ready for you to use if you got hurt. This technology may be a couple of years off or even more, but it would also help with the shelf life of blood as well. Here is the rest of the story:
In about two years’ time, Israel Defense Forces soldiers may carry with them to the battlefield packets with their own powdered blood.
A Nes Tziona-based company is working on a revolutionary product that could change the future battle field, IDF Medical Corps officers say.
“The idea is to take a soldier’s blood, freeze it in laboratory conditions, take out the ice crystals leaving only the blood components. It will look like freeze-dried coffee in a little bag,” said Lieutenant colonel Amir Blumenfeld, head of the IDF medical corps’ trauma unit.
Every soldier going to battle will receive a packet with his own freeze-dried blood as part of his mandatory personal kit, much like the staple personal bandage.
When necessary, if the soldier is wounded in battle and needs blood, a medic or doctor could take out the dried blood bag, mix it with physiological water and inject the soldier with a transfusion of his own blood.
The Medical Corps believe that such a kit will make blood transfusions available to every soldier in the battle field and prevent infections or compatibility problems.
Chief Medical Officer colonel Hezi Levy told Haaretz that his unit was following the research closely. “Perhaps in about two years, we will be able to complete the product’s development,” he said.
“We support the idea and the research and have been following it for three years. It’s looking good. The United States army is also very interested in this research. This project looks very promising,” he said.
The company developing the dried blood recently held an experiment together with representatives of the Israel Defense Forces, which showed that the freeze-dried blood could carry some 80 percent of oxygen after being mixed with water. “This is an excellent achievement,” said Levy.
Yeah, so how cool is that! Let’s give a big hurrah for this development team. I wonder if this would work for stem cells. Currently when a babies cord blood is extracted from the babies umbilical cord, the blood is then cryogenically frozen and kept that way. If you could just powerize the cord blood and store it at home then you could dramatically reduce the costs of storage. This would truely revolutionize the cord blood banking industry. Currently costs are around 2k$ for the initial extraction, and another 125$ per year for storage.