Scientists from the University of Sheffield are developing an artificial `plastic blood´, which could act as a substitute for real blood in emergency situations. The `plastic blood´, which will be on display at the Science Museum this month, could have a huge impact on military applications. Because the artificial blood is made from a plastic, it is light to carry and easy to store. Doctors could store the substitute as a thick paste in a blood bag and then dissolve it in water just before giving it to patients – meaning it´s easier to transport than liquid blood. Donated blood has a relatively short shelf-life of 35 days, after which it must be thrown away. It also needs refrigeration, whereas the `plastic blood´ will be storable for many more days and is stable at room temperature.
May 14th, 2007