Can you make blood?

Would it be possible to synthetically create blood, for use in humans? Or, at the very least, take human blood and sorta cultivate more? Seems like a simple solution to blood shortages. Surely there’s some reason why a lab can’t create blood for human use. Any ideas?

I have 2 things I’ve heard of through Squid, neither of which I can back up with cites, sorry.

  1. In laboratory research, pigs have been genetically modified so their blood matches human blood. Unfortunately it is completely abhorrent to some ethnic groups to consider having “pigs blood” (even though it’s exactly like human blood) running through their veins, so the idea has not been developed further.

  2. An experiment (I believe at the University of Illinois)in ongoing to modify e-coli bacteria so that their waste product is exactly like human blood. This could provide an amazing source for something the medical community is always in desperate need of, but I’m sure there would be complaint groups for this as well.

I don’t know of any situation where researchers are using human blood to create more blood through some kind of synthetic re-creation.

As this previous GQ thread shows, there is one in the works:
Synthetic Blood’s Oxycyte™.


Synthetic blood.

The short version.

The long version.

It’s still in development.

Other synthetic bloods are based on hemoglobin obtained from blood donors and are thus not completely synthetic.

In case anyone’s interested, here’s the patent on Oxycyte:

US6167887:Selected C-10 perfluorinated hydrocarbons for liquid ventilation and artificial blood