C&J Industries Blog

Plastic Red Blood Cells

The initial thought of writing a blog of plastic fun facts seemed rather daunting. Plastics have been part of my everyday life since I can remember. I’m sure the same could be said for you, so writing about plastic seems like a rather tedious task. It’s like writing a blog about something as familiar as electricity or air. It’s pretty easy to take this stuff for granted. When was the last time you picked something up and thought “WOW! This is made out of plastic!”

When I started researching plastics (by literally typing “plastics” into Google), I soon discovered that this endeavor would be more exciting than I thought. Plastics are continually being improved and reinvented for different applications. For instance, a recent evolution of plastic is the invention of plastic red blood cells.

It is common knowledge that red blood cells are responsible for delivering oxygen to our body and removing carbon dioxide. They also are small enough to travel through blood vessels as tiny as 3 micrometers in diameter.

There are NO substitutes for red blood cells that can actually perform the task of distributing oxygen and removing carbon dioxide, but scientists has reason to believe that plastic blood could be the answer. The plastic or artificial blood is made out of plastic molecules wrapped around an iron atom. This construction simulates a metalloprotein called hemoglobin that is contained in real red blood cells. Hemoglobin is responsible for transporting oxygen.

Though plastic blood has not been through human trials yet, many doctors and scientists believe it may one day become a life saving solution. The product is lightweight, has a long shelf life, is inexpensive to produce in large quantities and does not need to be kept cool. Plastic blood is a great solution for ambulances or war zones. It also would come in handy when shortages of real blood occur.

After stumbling upon this story (and many other interesting facts that I look forward to sharing with you), it is clear to me now that this plastics blog will not be as mundane as I had originally thought. Please check back frequently for updates! If you have any questions or comments about anything you read here, please direct them to sales@cjindustries.com.

 

Sources: Live Science, New Scientist, viewzone.com

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