Synopses & Reviews
This volume is a collection of essays by authorities in a wide range of fields, each bringing a different focus on the problem.
The development of a substitute for transfused red blood cells is a highly sought-after goal. Such products potentially would be safer than human (allogeneic) blood because they would eliminate the possibility of transmitting infectious agents such as HIV, which causes the deadly syndrome AIDS. In addition, red cell substitutes will revolutionize the practice of transfusion medicine: they will eliminate the need for cross-matching, and could lead to an overhaul of current blood bank operations because they may be more stable and thus easier to store than blood. Before reaching this ambitious goal, the fundamental obstacles appears to be lack of understanding of the way in which cell-free oxygen carriers transport oxygen, with consequent implications for clinical trials and eventual approval of new products. This volume is a collection of essays by outstanding authorities in a wide range of fields. Each chapter focuses on the problem of red cell substitutes from a different perspective. The discussion in the first chapter of the world-wide impact that blood substitute products would have is of particular interest and importance. All in all, this collection elucidates the current status of red cell substitutes research and development in a unique and timely manner.