Brain Grease
June 5, 2007 7:48 PM   Subscribe

Better than blood? A man-made, pure-white compound called Oxycyte carries oxygen 50 times as effectively as our own blood. An interesting development for brain trauma patients, HIV in blood transfusions, and the artificial human.
posted by YoBananaBoy (38 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
via
posted by YoBananaBoy at 7:49 PM on June 5, 2007


but will vampires drink it?

What about mosquitoes?
posted by b1tr0t at 7:53 PM on June 5, 2007


There was a controversy a few years ago about this product being used without prior patient consent in emergency transfusions at a few hospitals as part of an FDA study. I remember some WSJ articles about it.
posted by Mid at 7:57 PM on June 5, 2007


"but will vampires drink it?"

Only with fish.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:59 PM on June 5, 2007 [10 favorites]


oh hay ash

android says what?
posted by Greg Nog at 8:04 PM on June 5, 2007 [3 favorites]


Bishop's blood from Aliens?
posted by coust at 8:04 PM on June 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


What, is this the Ray Bradbury thread? Wasn't there a Bradbury short story about radiation-proof fake blood? And some subtext of the essence of human existence?
posted by GuyZero at 8:14 PM on June 5, 2007


Sounds like the start of a new zombie movie...
posted by StrangeTikiGod at 8:20 PM on June 5, 2007


Next: Pinkeye.
posted by jimmythefish at 8:29 PM on June 5, 2007


Sounds like the start of a new zombie movie...

For zombies wearing oxygen masks and trucking around oxygen tanks, maybe.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:34 PM on June 5, 2007


"a snow-white, completely synthetic substance made from perfluorocarbons, or PFCs, a compound whose chemical makeup closely resembles the nonstick Teflon in your frying pan." Wow.

And I wonder how long until we see this one in athletic doping?
posted by dilettante at 8:41 PM on June 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


Does this mean I can keep smoking?
posted by Samizdata at 8:46 PM on June 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


So this is what the aliens use.
posted by j-urb at 8:48 PM on June 5, 2007


And I wonder how long until we see this one in athletic doping?

I don't think this will be a very effective method of doping, because I think it would be pretty damn easy to detect. Raising hemocrit levels is one thing.

I think the future of doping is taking supplements during training to build muscles, and then going off of during competition. Beyond that, I can see people getting operations and implants to alter their own bodies natural hormone levels.
posted by delmoi at 9:03 PM on June 5, 2007


Does this mean I can keep smoking?

YES! yes it does.
-Phil morris
posted by longsleeves at 9:12 PM on June 5, 2007


I worked on developing the criteria the military uses to determine which blood enhancement and substitute technologies they fund.
And I recognize some names in this article.

There's a real need for technologies to prevent shock and death from blood loss on the battlefield. Donated blood needs to be refrigerated and lasts only a month, and is pretty much inacessible in forward combat areas. It seems the best they can do right now is saline, and even then it's difficult to carry much, because it's heavy. Any blood substitute or drug needs a long shelf life in the field, under extremes of temperature, changes in pressure (as in planes), and agitation. Many potentially helpful drugs are not approved for use on the battlefield because finding the clinical test population is difficult, and obviously it's impractical to ask people to follow a scientific protocol in a war zone.
posted by zennie at 9:13 PM on June 5, 2007 [1 favorite]


What are you doing the rest of your life?
-Phil
posted by longsleeves at 9:14 PM on June 5, 2007


Read about this awhile ago, the Oxycyte is smaller than blood clots, handy for stroke victims, they can still get oxygen to the system.
posted by IronWolve at 11:35 PM on June 5, 2007


Bishop's blood from Aliens?

Not bad for a ...glub glub glub... human...
posted by Artw at 12:12 AM on June 6, 2007


Perfluorocarbons -- yes, this stuff is ridiculous. Holds so much oxygen, you can indeed actually breath the stuff. Does cause pressure damage to the lungs, though. I have heard it's used for burn victims.
posted by effugas at 12:15 AM on June 6, 2007


I think the future of doping is taking supplements during training to build muscles, and then going off of during competition.

All sports actually interested in preventing doping already perform out-of-competition and off-season testing. Which isn't to say athletes don't already do this and count on the odds of being tested being lower.
posted by markr at 12:49 AM on June 6, 2007


Their pop-science fascination with the color annoyed me. Hardly surprising, though, from popsci.com.

Anyway, a paragraph really puzzled me and I had to think about it for a minute to come up with a plausible explanation for something they don't explain:

To get the full effect from Oxycyte, on the other hand, a patient breathes in 50 to 100 percent oxygen four hours before receiving it and for 12 hours after it’s infused (air contains 21 percent oxygen).

This was in contrast to the hemoglobin-based products which do not require an inhaled high-oxygen level air supply.

My guess for why this is the case is because the high concentration of free oxygen in a PFC-based product means that much of it will bind with the hemoglobin already in the patient's bloodstream. This will reduce the amount of free oxygen available in the PFC-based portion.

Hemoglobin-based products will be maximally oxygenated with none of that oxygen taken up by the hemoglobin in the bood. There's no need for inhaled high-oxygen.

My explanation doesn't quite make sense, though, as the PFC-based product would still, without additional inhaled oxygen, supply more oxygen than the hemoglobin-based product would. It's only a distinct disadvantage when you want to maximize the amount of free oxygen available in the delivery of the PFC-based product in those situation as the article describes where you want that free oxygen to go where hemoglobin can't.

So perhaps my guess at an explanation for this is probably wrong.

And I wonder how long until we see this one in athletic doping?

For the same reasons that these things haven't worked as a general blood replacement, no one is going to use it as a means of doping, regardless of whether it's easily detected. There's significant risks with this that are only justified in the context of ameliorating even greater risks. Even the less risky performance-damaging side-effects for a healthy athlete would probably more than compensate for the benefit of higher oxygen carrying capacity. Conventional doping makes much more sense.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:54 AM on June 6, 2007


There was a controversy a few years ago about this product being used without prior patient consent in emergency transfusions at a few hospitals as part of an FDA study. I remember some WSJ articles about it.

I believe you're thinking of Northfield Laboratories' PolyHeme, which it was recently reported missed its primary endpoint in phase 3 trial. All sorts of other bad stuff cropping up about it, although Northfield is jumping through hoops to try to create some sort of post-hoc justification that will allow it to wangle FDA approval.
posted by bifter at 1:55 AM on June 6, 2007


Biopure has also been trying to get FDA approval for it's bovine based blood substitute (Hemopure) for at least 15 years now. I think the animal product (Oxyglobin?) is on the market but it doesn't look like the human product is ever going to make it.
posted by reidfleming at 3:44 AM on June 6, 2007


Hamilton: Let me say this as clearly as I can: you cannot beat me. I am a part of them. The wolf, ram, and hart. Their strength flows through my veins. My blood is filled with their ancient power.
Angel: Can you pick out the one word there you probably shouldn't have said?

ok, vampire reference out of the gate, but quote needed, goddamnit!
posted by dreamsign at 5:06 AM on June 6, 2007


And the T-Virus can help regenerate dead tissues, too.

Seriously, can't someone dye it red so its not nearly so creepy?
posted by mr_book at 5:42 AM on June 6, 2007


Why would the artificial human need to breathe? Or need 'blood' for that matter?
posted by spicynuts at 6:38 AM on June 6, 2007


Why would the artificial human need to breathe? Or need 'blood' for that matter?

The term "artificial human" might refer to cloned human organs grown in vitro. I'd think this technology would be extremely useful for perfusion in that kind of research.
posted by zennie at 7:27 AM on June 6, 2007


All of this is very interesting, but can it keep a soul from abandoning its body?
posted by LordSludge at 7:33 AM on June 6, 2007





The term "artificial human" might refer to cloned human organs grown in vitro.


Oh I thought we were talking about ROBOTS! Bummer.
posted by spicynuts at 7:35 AM on June 6, 2007


Why would the artificial human need to breathe? Or need 'blood' for that matter?

Soylent Green fuel (metabolism for mobility) is cheaper than batteries.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:40 AM on June 6, 2007


Mix that with some nanotech and I will welcome my new Borg body.
posted by elendil71 at 7:44 AM on June 6, 2007


Their pop-science fascination with the color annoyed me.

I found it to be mnemonically useful, as someone who has not studied chemistry.
posted by voltairemodern at 8:37 AM on June 6, 2007


I wonder if this can be used to help diabetics with retinopathy and neuropathy caused by glycosylated hemoglobin.
posted by BrotherCaine at 12:37 PM on June 6, 2007


Blood does a lot more than carry oxygen. It carries waste, has clotting properties, antibodies, etc. etc. This stuff might be good in an emergency, but it is not going to replace blood in any given organism.
posted by Muddler at 2:28 PM on June 6, 2007


Am I the only geek in here that thought "so that's how they make Ketracel White?"
posted by FormlessOne at 2:43 PM on June 6, 2007


Am I the only geek in here that thought "so that's how they make Ketracel White?"

Yes.

Because I thought, "soon Earth shall take her place within the Dominion!"
posted by zennie at 3:25 PM on June 6, 2007


« Older Viral   |   Termites are cockroaches! Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments