Image caption, ice crystals in the blood thaw in together a way that they violently tear the blood cell apart

When girlfriend donate blood it have the right to be preserved refrigerated for approximately 42 days till it overcome its use-by date.

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Unfortunately, since the lot of blood donated varies, so also does the supply obtainable because it's not feasible to keep it for long periods the time. For part rarer blood teams we may sometimes only have five day's it is provided in the UK.

It would certainly be much much easier if we might freeze blood and also keep that on ice cream indefinitely. Unfortunately blood doesn't respond fine to being frozen.

The ice crystals in the blood thaw in together a means that they violently tear the blood cells apart transforming frozen blood right into unusable pink mush.

Now, researcher at the university of Warwick think they have discovered a solution to this problem that will certainly allow big scale freeze of donated blood because that the an initial time.

After three years studying how blood freezes and thaws the scientists, led by Dr Matthew Gibson, establish they could change how the ice crystals behaved by including a details polymer come the blood before putting it in the freezer.


The polymer is dubbed polyvinyl alcohol and is similar to polymers uncovered in hardwood glue and children's paints.

Only a little amount added to blood disrupts the action of the thawing ice crystals and method the blood cell safely make it through being thawed from frozen.

These room lab trials yet the expect is if this strategy was provided on a much larger scale then you could be able to defrost bags the blood in hospitals in a relatively robust way, perhaps even just leaving lock on the end on the side for a couple of hours, and also then hook them right up come a patient because that transfusion.

The added polymer is therefore safe and is used in such little amounts that won't affect the health of the patient and so doesn't have to be removed before transfusion.

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The NHS has expressed an interest and also Dr Gibson and his fellow researcher Robert Deller speak it is possible big scale trials that this idea could start in 12 come 18 month's time.

Initially, it would be very useful for human being with very rare blood groups. The would permit them come donate and freeze their own blood, structure up a big stockpile for potential use at a future day if needed.

But this technique might also assist improve the freeze of bone marrow and allow easy freeze of platelets and also even stem cells.