August 12, 2019

Researchers in Japan are working on a novel way to make sure mesenchymal stem cells wind up in the right place when repairing cartilage.

Researchers at Hiroshima University showed that by equipping MSCs with a special iron type of iron oxide nanoparticles, they can be attracted to a specific location in the body with a magnetic field.

The report, “In Vitro Safety and Quality of Magnetically Labeled Human Mesenchymal Stem Cells Preparation for Cartilage Repair,” was published in the journal Tissue Engineering.

“I have not heard of this before,” said Scott Jones, Vice President, Scientific Affairs at BioBridge Global. “We use magnetic particles for nucleic isolation, so it makes sense you could use it to move cells.”

The study used MSCs from bone marrow and the process was tested in eight patients.

August 5, 2019

Here are some myths and realities about the number of times you can give blood every year:

Breaking down acronyms with the experts who work with them day in and day out
August 5, 2019

Lorena Aranda, Director of the Immunohematology Reference Laboratory, oversees the testing, training, and procedures of the San Antonio and Atlanta labs for QualTex Laboratories. She answers the question “What is IRL?”

What is IRL?

IRL stands for Immunohematology Reference Laboratory. The IRL was originally named Special Procedures when the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center opened in 1974 in San Antonio. The name changed in 2009. A second IRL opened in 2011 at the Atlanta QualTex Laboratories facility.

The labs in San Antonio and Atlanta perform routine and complex immunohematology testing on patient, donor and source plasma samples, as well as cord blood. The lab operates 24/7/365.

The IRL is able to provide services that aren’t always available routinely in hospital blood banks. Types of testing and services done in the IRL include:

July 22, 2019

There’s a saying in both the U.S. Army and the blood transfusion community – “It’s a small world.”

It seems that everybody knows everybody, in one way or another. John Barry, who is the Senior Manager, Hospital Relations & Distribution for South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, experienced two of those small worlds recently.

Barry was on a panel at the National Whole Blood Summit, based on his experience with the Brothers in Arms program as well as a similar system he helped implement with the U.S. Army in Afghanistan in 2012.

“I passed a guy in the hallway between sessions at the summit, and at first we didn’t recognize each other,” he said. “And then we stopped and started talking.”

July 15, 2019

The idea of using enzymes to turn a common blood type into a rarer one has been around since 1982.

But a recent paper published in the journal Nature Microbiology has shown progress in converting type A-negative blood to the relatively rare O- negative using enzymes from a human gut bacteria.

“This is a very exciting discovery,” said Scott Jones, Vice President, Scientific Affairs at BioBridge Global. “If it works out as planned, this discovery could change blood banking and allow blood centers to have more type O blood on the shelves by converting type A blood to type O.”

A, B and AB blood types are defined by the presence of molecules on the surface of red blood cells, while type O is defined as not having either the A or B molecule.