Cardiovascular System


What is artificial blood?

Artificial blood is a blood substitute that can be used to provide fluid volume and carry oxygen in the vessels. Two characteristics that a blood substitute should have is that it should be thinner than real blood and it should have a low affinity for oxygen so that oxygen can be delivered easily. The benefits of artificial blood are that it lessens the demand for human blood supplies and it can be given immediately without triggering a rejection in cases of massive blood loss.

Synthetic chemical compounds called perfluorocarbons are currently being studied as a substitute for red blood cells. For such a substitute to be acceptable, it needs to be: 1) able to carry oxygen and release it to tissues; 2) nontoxic; 3) storable; 4) able to function for varying periods of time in the human body; and, 5) immune-response resistant.


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