The primary use of the blood substitute is to provide a temporary support to the circulation system whenever the conditions demand. These conditions may be blood transfusions or surgeries in which blood substitutes are mostly focused on the basic role of transporting the oxygen for a short duration. There various blood substitutes available such as Perflurocarbons (PFC) emulsions and Hemoglobin-based oxygen carriers. The Perflurocarbons are derived from a group of hydrocarbons in which the hydrogen atoms are replaced by fluorine atoms and has been beneficial in creation of artificial blood during surgeries.
The most common PFCs are the Perfluorodecalin and Perflubron. The major advantage of PFCs is they permit easy transportation of the oxygen to the body. However, the common side effects cited by use of these PFCs are decrease in the blood platelet counts and causes flu-like symptoms in the patients. While, the hemoglobin based oxygen carriers have been successfully being used to mimic the role of oxygen carrier role of hemoglobin in the body. Since, this substitute has been available in much larger quantities, can be stored for a longer duration and can be sterilized makes it a more preferred choice by the physicians. The chief problems associated with synthetic blood substitutes are anaphylactic shock especially in patients who are frequent users of these substitutes.
Despite, significant research there has still a huge gap in meeting these safety requirements. Companies are now focusing towards introduction of innovative biotechnological techniques to introduce an effective blood substitute. The company OPK Biotech, managed to successfully develop hemoglobin-oxygen based carrier through chemical stabilization of bovine hemoglobin. This flagship product named “Hemopure” has been approved and sold in South Africa since past several years.
Moreover, the U.S. Armed Services has also been conducting research since Vietnam War which has helped them to introduce substitutes such as dried powder that can be stored, packed and transported and then reconstituted as liquid prior to transfusion.
Some of the major driving factors for growth of this market are rise in the number of trauma cases including burns, road accidents and military wars. In addition, a plummeted rise in the geriatric population has led to seeking various surgical interventions such as blood cancer treatment, cardiac surgeries and others which has consequently led to a strong demand for artificial blood substitutes.
Geographically, the North America accounts for the largest market for artificial synthetic blood substitutes market followed by Europe. Some of the major players of this market includes Biopure (Hemopure), Northfield (Polyheme), Sangart and Dendritech.