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Synthesis of carbohydrate derivatives for the improvement of red blood cell storage

Principal Investigator / Supervisor: 
BEN, Robert
Co-Investigator(s) / Trainee: 
MEYER, Julia
University of Ottawa
Project Start Date: 
May 1, 2017
Project End Date: 
April 30, 2019
Most red blood cells (RBCs) are stored at 4 °C in a solution of saline, adenine, guanine, and mannitol for up to 42 days. RBCs can be cryopreserved at -80 °C for up to ten years in a 40% glycerol solution, which is added to reduce cell damage incurred during the thawing and freezing processes. However, glycerol is toxic and must be removed immediately upon thawing prior to transfusion. This deglycerolization process can take up to two hours and requires specialized equipment. Once thawed, the RBCs can only be kept for 24 hours at 4 °C before they must either be transfused or disposed of. Furthermore, the long-term storage of RBCs at 4 °C results in the formation of bioactive lipids, which have been correlated to post-transfusion complications. Our laboratory aims to synthesize non-toxic carbohydrate derivatives capable of inhibiting ice growth as alternatives to glycerol, thereby limiting the processing time required prior to the transfusion of thawed RBCs. This would ultimately improve the utility and availability of cryopreserved RBCs. Furthermore, we are interested in the supplementation of stored RBCs at 4 °C with these non-toxic derivatives in order to suppress the formation of bioactive lipids, resulting in fewer post-transfusion complications. *Cofunded through a MITACs fellowship
Total Amount Awarded: 
National Training Program

Projects summaries are contributed by investigators who receive financial support from Canadian Blood Services. The summaries are intended to inform the public of the types of research projects that are supported by our organization. The information described in project summaries should not be considered as recommendation for clinical treatment and diagnosis.