International Journal of Hematology

DOI: 10.1007/s12185-012-1107-9 Pages: 610-616

Generation of red blood cells from human embryonic/induced pluripotent stem cells for blood transfusion

1. The University of Tokyo, Division of Stem Cell Processing, Center for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine, The Institute of Medical Science

2. The University of Tokyo, Department of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Research Hospital, The Institute of Medical Science

Correspondence to:
Kohichiro Tsuji
Tel: +81-3-54495397
Fax: +81-3-54495428



Red blood cell (RBC) transfusion is necessary for many patients with emergency or hematological disorders. However, to date the supply of RBCs remains labile and dependent on voluntary donations. In addition, the transmission of infectious disease via blood transfusion from unspecified donors remains a risk. Establishing a large quantity of safe RBCs would help to address this issue. Human embryonic stem (hES) cells and the recently established human induced pluripotent stem (hiPS) cells represent potentially unlimited sources of donor-free RBCs for blood transfusion, as they can proliferate indefinitely in vitro. Extensive research has been done to efficiently generate transfusable RBCs from hES/iPS cells. Nevertheless, a number of challenges must be overcome before the clinical usage of hES/iPS cell-derived RBCs can become a reality.

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