Steady Supply of Blood Cells

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People with immune deficiency related diseases can now look forward to some relief in the form of an artificial bone marrow that can continuously make red and white blood cells. Created by researchers from University of Michigan, this substance grows on a 3-D scaffold that mimics the tissues supporting bone marrow in the body. Designed to function in a test tube, this artificial marrow can replicate stem cells and the key immune cells that produce antibodies for fighting diseases. This would help people undergoing chemotherapy, as cancer-fighting drugs strongly suppress bone marrow function leaving the body prone to infection. This development could also lead to simpler pharmaceutical drug testing, closer study of immune system defects and a continuous supply of blood for transfusions, the researchers reported.


Down To Earth, January 2009