September 28, 2022
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UCSB scientists create synthetic blood cells

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Researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara, have created synthetic red blood cells that could be used to deliver drugs, research diseases and aid diagnoses.

Synthetic particles can be used to carry drugs where they need to go for more precise targeting than pills or straight injections. They’re already on the market to deliver drugs for diseases such as prostate cancer, but they have limitations. They don’t last long because the body’s immune cells swoop in quickly and swallow them up.

Collaborating with University of Michigan scientists, the UCSB researchers made some headway toward solving that problem and others by mimicking the body’s natural delivery system for oxygen — red blood cells. Their findings are slated for publication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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