A blood substitute (also called Synthetic blood) is used to mimc and fulfill some functions of biological blood. It aims to provide an alternative solution to the blood transfusion, Synthetic blood provide critical benefits over allogenic blood transfusions by delivering increased oxygen carrying capacity, saving time in trauma cases and battlefield scenarios, reducing the risk of infection, reducing overall cost by avoiding screening and cross-matching, demonstrating high applicability in organ transplants, and fulfilling the requirements while adhering to needs of religious communities, Reduce the load on donor blood supply.
Research and development of synthetic blood substitutes began centuries ago. The academic community has introduced several products since then but due to clinical trial failures and lack of promotion by regulatory authorities almost all the variants have been rejected. There are many blood products that are under development as blood substitutes. And the search for the ideal blood substitute continues. Various manufacturers have products in clinical trials; however, no truly safe and effective Synthetic blood product is currently marketed.
There are three vital elements to blood supply safety viz safe donor, safe blood and safe transfusion. With an increase in aging population and progress in medical procedures necessitating blood transfusions, the requirement for blood continues to intensify globally.
Blood substitutes market is categorized into two segments:
Perfluorocarbon-based oxygen carriers (PFBOC)- PFBOCs are based on inert components which replace hydrogen with fluorine. They are inexpensive to produce and can be made devoid of any biological materials. This eliminates the real possibility of spreading an infectious disease via a blood transfusion.
Hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers (HBOC) - Hemoglobin carries oxygen from the lungs to the other tissues in the body. Artificial blood based on hemoglobin takes advantage of this natural function. HBOCs consists of hemoglobin derived products sourced from humans blood, bovine blood, microorganisms and transgenic animals.
The growth of Synthetic blood substitutes market will depend on various factors such as regulatory approvals, product technologies, product acceptance in the market, time factor, product pricing, and competitive landscape. The potential global market for synthetic blood substitutes is estimated based on the donor blood requirement for surgical and trauma cases. Application for the synthetic blood products would be initially high in cancer therapies, heart surgeries, injuries and organ transplants whereas other application areas will have a low penetration rate per year. Results of advance trials may increase the application areas.
R&D interest in synthetic blood products technologies has maintained at a constant pace with approximately 67 patents filed every year over the period from 1997 to 2016. Top assignees include companies, individuals, universities and research institutes. Blood pharming techniques are also being actively pursued by scientists worldwide for developing human RBCs from donor blood stem cells.
Key players are endeavoring to win a significant share of the market through new production methodologies, front-line advancements, and new items Companies like Alliance Pharmaceutical Corp., Baxter Healthcare Corp., Nuvox Pharmaceuticals, Sanguine Inc., and Therapure Biopharma are the active players in the artificial blood products market.
Global demand for blood is exponentially increasing which is exerting tremendous pressure on blood donation industry resulting into the illegal sale of human blood in the red market. To counter the above issue, there is a greater need for blood substitutes which can fulfill blood volume demands in short period. In this advancing world, we need artificial blood products to save precious human lives, and persistent research and innovation can only achieve the intended results.
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