Artificial Oxygen Carriers-Past, Present, and Future-a Review of the Most Innovative and Clinically Relevant Concepts

J Pharmacol Exp Ther. 2019 May;369(2):300-310 doi: 10.1124/jpet.118.254664.

Blood transfusions are a daily practice in hospitals. Since these products are limited in availability and have various, harmful side effects, researchers have pursued the goal to develop artificial blood components for about 40 years. Development of oxygen therapeutics and stem cells are more recent goals. Medline (, (, EU Clinical Trials Register (, and Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ( were searched up to July 2018 using search terms related to artificial blood products in order to identify new and ongoing research over the last 5 years. However, for products that are already well known and important to or relevant in gaining a better understanding of this field of research, the reader is punctually referred to some important articles published over 5 years ago. This review includes not only clinically relevant substances such as heme-oxygenating carriers, perfluorocarbon-based oxygen carriers, stem cells, and organ conservation, but also includes interesting preclinically advanced compounds depicting the pipeline of potential new products. In- depth insights into specific benefits and limitations of each substance, including the biochemical and physiologic background are included. "Fancy" ideas such as iron-based substances, O2 microbubbles, cyclodextranes, or lugworms are also elucidated. To conclude, this systematic up-to-date review includes all actual achievements and ongoing clinical trials in the field of artificial blood products to pursue the dream of artificial oxygen carrier supply. Research is on the right track, but the task is demanding and challenging.

MESH HEADINGS: Blood Substitutes; Blood Transfusion; Humans; Oxygen
Study Details
Study Design: Systematic Review
Language: English
Credits: Bibliographic data from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine