Blood transfusion is one of the inventions that changed human life forever. Since the first decade of the 20th century, blood transfusion has saved millions of lives, whether using human blood or rarely artificial blood substitutes. Although blood donation is proven to be a very effective method to collect red blood cell for medical use, rare blood type, storage, disease carrying blood are all problems that real blood is facing. Because of those issues, there has been many attempts on creating artificial red blood cell.
Team Member Doing Blood Donation.
RBC substitutes or synthetic oxygen transporters studied so far are of mainly two types: perfluorocarbon(PFC) and Hb-based substitutes. After 100 years of research, there still haven’t been any successful artificial RBCs currently in use. Short half-life(short circulation in human body), immune-response, increased probability in stroke are all current problems for artificial RBCs.
So, we need to create a new artificial RBC which has long half-life, immune-friendly, and to reduce the possibility in stroke. We chose Cellular Hemoglobin (Hb)-based oxygen carriers (HBOCs) because it has great potential for its similar properties to RBCs and its possibility to transport oxygen to stroke areas because of its smaller size. In order to enable the artificial RBC to live longer in human body and to avoid immune problem, we decided to enclose the hemoglobin in exosome.
We first tried to secrete hemoglobin for oxygen transport inside human cell line HEK293T. Then we focused on loading the protein cargo into the exosome, which we have chosen for the reason of immune-compatibility and easy production. The exosomes will be loaded endogenously with hemoglobin using membrane anchored proteins (CD63) or using exosome-loading pathways inside the cell (WWtag and Ndfip1).By doing this, we will produce an efficient method for future iGEM teams to create protein-loaded exosomes that can be used in therapeuticsand develop a potential blood replacement.