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Friday 15 April 2016

Leap to Mass Produced Platelets


Headway in Mass Producing Platelets

British scientists have made great headway in mass producing platelets which is part of the blood that tends to form clots. The team comprising of NHS organisation responsible for blood transfusions, transformed stem cells in the large bone marrow cells called megakaryocytes that tend to act as platelet factories. Together with the University of Cambridge, the team has found how to grow the body’s platelet factories in the laboratory. Hundreds of thousands of mature megakaryocytes had been produced which naturally began to release functional platelets.

This could give rise to a new source of platelets to stop heavy bleeding for instance after an accident. Before the trials, researchers need to make the process more effective. When the blood is donated, it is separated out into red blood cells, plasma and platelets in order that patients are provided with only the components needed. Platelets are essential after trauma, surgery, leukaemia therapy and in some blood disorders like haemophilia.

Consultant haematologist, Dr Cedric Ghevaert, had said that they are totally dependent on blood donation in order to produce those platelets. His team had been attempting in growing megakaryocytes, the mother cell platelet which tends to live in the bone marrow that tends to manufacture the clotting platelets.

Modify Platelets – Activate Clotting much Better

Reported in the journal Nature Communication, the breakthrough was the discovery of a set of chemical switches which was required in creating megakaryocytes in the lab. Their results was described by Dr Ghevaert as a major step forward who had informed BBC New website that the next big step was to get adequate platelets out of each megakaryocyte. Lab-made cells tend to produce about 10 platelets each though each one that functions normally in the bone marrow would produce up to 2,000. It is expected that recreating the same conditions as in the bone marrow could make the cells more efficient.

If the researchers tend to be successful, then the lab grown platelets would be more useful than the ones collected in a blood donation. Dr Ghevaert added that they can modify the platelets in order that they can activate the clotting much better which would have big benefit for patients with a crash or a bleed or even in soldiers who could have been injured. Moreover, it would also enable doctors to have stockpiles customised to various patients.

ES/iPS Cells – Potential of Transforming any Type of Tissue in the Body

Megakaryocytes, strangely large bone marrow cells seem to be a wonder of biology wherein, its functions has not yet been understood. Each megakaryocyte tends to mix out between 5,000 and 10,000 platelets and each adult human has nearly a trillion platelets circulating in their blood. Platelets tend to come in various forms just as red blood cells come in A, B, O and AB. Some types of platelet especially those common in black and Asian ethnic groups seem to be comparatively unusual.

The megakaryocytes made by the NHS Blood and Transplant and Cambridge University group had been derived from cultured lines of embryonic stem – ES cells and induced pluripotent stem – iPS cells. Both have the potential of transforming into any type of tissue in the body and while ES cells seem to be initially obtained from early stage embryos, iPS cells have been created in the laboratory from modified adult cells like skin cells. Mature cells made by utilising the iPS route could theoretically be generated from the tissue of the patient and thus avoids the risk of immune system rejection.

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