Many people have donated blood in their lifetime. This blood is not only used for transfusions, but to provide blood components to treat a number of diseases and to conduct research geared to develop new diagnostic and treatment strategies. To obtain specific blood components, the technique of apheresis is used. This procedure is the means to separate blood into its various components so that the desired one is removed. Then, the rest of the components are placed back into the donor’s circulation.
Leukocytes adhere to blood vessels as a mechanism to enter tissue where there is inflammation. Inadvertently, they pile up sickle cell red blood cells.
Standard apheresis equipment is soon to be supplanted. What are the advantages in the next generation?
Researchers have profited from the uniqueness of red blood cells, modifying them so that a myriad of therapeutic agents may potentially be attached.