Red Blood Cell Substitutes

Polymerized Pyridoxylated Hemoglobin. This consists of lysed RBCs that have had all stromal elements removed and subsequently polymerized to decrease oncotic pressure.2 This has been successfully evaluated in baboons and is under clinical investigation in humans.

Perfluorocarbon. These possess a unique ability to carry and exchange gas. They consist of a carbon skeleton saturated with fluorine. The soluability of oxygen is up to 20 times that of water. An emulsified solution is required to solubilize this in plasma. This process limits the carrying capacity to approximately 6 times plasma. Current studies are underway with second generation perfluorocarbons.2


1. Spiess BD, Counts RB, Gould SA et al. Perioperative Transfusion Medicine. 1st ed. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1998.

2. Gould S. Human polymerized hemoglobin first therapeutic use as a blood substitute in trauma and surgery. American College of Surgeons. New Orleans, LA: 81st Clinical Congress, October 22-27,1995.

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