Oxygen carriers: A selected review

Mohammed S. Inayat, Andrew C. Bernard, Vincent S. Gallicchio, Beth A. Garvy, Howard L. Elford, Oliver R. Oakley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


The most common and widely transplanted tissue world wide is blood, which in 2000 resulted in the transfusion of 12.5 million units of blood in the US alone [Goodnough LT, Shander A, Brecher ME. Transfusion medicine: looking to the future. Lancet 2003;361:161-9]. The current use of donated blood products is relatively safe; however, there are inherent problems with allogeneic blood transfusions. The wide spread use of blood in procedures results in problems involving inadequate supply exacerbated in times of war and disasters and by the limited storage life of blood donations (30-42 days). Blood contamination due to patient pre-disposition, poor collection, sterilization, or storage is the second most common cause of death from transfusion in the US [Hillyer CD, Josephson CD, Blajchman MA, Vostal JG, Epstein JS, Goodman JL. Bacterial contamination of blood components: risks, strategies, and regulation: joint ASH and AABB educational session in transfusion medicine. Hematology (Am Soc Hematol Educ Program) 2003:575-89]. Blood is a complex tissue involved in a plethora of homeostatic roles, including immunity, wound healing and the transport of nourishment, electrolytes, hormones, vitamins, heat, oxygen and the removal of metabolic waste products. However, by far the principle role of blood transfusions is the replacement of red cell volume and the maintenance of oxygen levels within the circulation. Creation of investigational new drugs (INDs) which would function as oxygen carriers and prolong shelf life is now a very active arena of scientific research. Several such IND products are now in clinical trials. This article gives an easy to follow concise evaluation of major areas of focus and current testing for each type of blood substitution molecule.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-32
Number of pages8
JournalTransfusion and Apheresis Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2006


  • Hemoglobin
  • Hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers
  • Oxygen carriers
  • Perfluorocarbon

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology


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