The methods developed by scientists at Cryopharm Corp. tofreeze-dry and rehydrate human red blood cells (RBCs) haveenabled the company to extend the shelf life of those cells,according to results published in the April issue of the journalTransfusion.

Researchers at privately held Cryopharm of Pasadena, Calif.,found that they could put the human RBCs into suspendedanimation during freeze-drying, and that these cells remainintact and fully functional upon rehydration.

Because they retain their normal metabolic, flow and cellularproperties after rehydration, the RBCs can be storedrefrigerated in blood banks, according to the company.

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