Oxycyte™ – Just another invention or a better substitute for blood?
Posted by evolvingwheel on February 8, 2007
Oxycyte™, a proprietary perfluorocarbon (PFC) therapeutic oxygen carrier and blood substitute has been in the recent news headlines with highly promising claims. The chemical is not exactly a blood substitute – white in color and with a soymilk texture – but appears to perform a very crucial function of blood and 5 times more. The liquid PFC is capable of carrying a huge amount of oxygen at a much faster rate to injured organs. The artificial blood is currently under clinical trials and have shown exciting results on trauma victims. [Read PopSci Article]
However, the fluid has certain requirements. Currently, once infused with the liquid, the patient needs to be administered with a high concentration of oxygen and needs to wait for few hours before the fluid starts pumping O2 through the injured cappillaries. Such high exposure to Oxygen has its own problems. Nevertheless, studies show that the treatment significantly increases the chances of recovery for extreme trauma due to severe blood loss from accidents.
If the PFC is successful and is commercialized, what changes can we expect on the horizon? Will there be a drastic shift in oxygen carrier pharmaceutics over the recent years? How promising is the invention in context of new medical developments in trauma treatments? How will the insurance industry react to a cheaper treatment for high impact ER processes?
[Picture courtesy Popular Science/John B. Carnett]