DoD awards $1.3M grant to develop artificial blood

The Defense Department has awarded the City College of New York a three-year, $1.3 million grant to develop artificial blood to help wounded soldiers on the battlefield. The recipient of the award is Ron Koder, an assistant professor of physics at CCNY who was part of a University of Pennsylvania team that devised a novel method for producing an artificial protein capable of transporting oxygen, similar to human neuroglobin.

"Engineered blood substitutes have a lot of attractive properties compared to blood drawn from people," he says in a statement.  "No typing is required, you don't have to worry about refrigeration or freshness and there is no risk of infection." They can save lives, as well, since severely wounded servicemen and women sometimes die before they can be transported to a hospital and given a transfusion.

Koder will use the grant to improve the stability and other properties of the protein. He plans to cross-link the protein into large aggregates to create particles the same size as red blood cells. 

- read the CCNY release