New method of preserving blood discovered
Research at the University of Warwick has shown a way of preserving blood for longer than the present limit of 42 days.
Currently, blood donations can only be refrigerated for 42 days at -20°c until passing its use-by date, as after this time the ice crystals would thaw in a way that tears blood cells apart, rendering it ineffective.
Scientists have discovered that a polymer can be used to adapt the behaviour of the crystals, allowing blood to be frozen for longer. This will benefit people with rare blood types, of which there is rarely enough donated. Large scale refrigeration trials will begin within the next twelve months.
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