Finding new ways to manufacture red blood cells

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

By Etta Di Leo, University Relations. This is an excerpt from an article originally published on Waterloo News.

This Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) grad is working to ensure the world has a safe and sustainable supply of blood.

Every year, more than 4.5 million people need blood transfusions in Canada and the United States. That amounts to about 36,000 RBC units per day for the US alone. Transfusions are needed for trauma response, surgery and cancer care. The medical system relies on a complex system of blood donations to meet that need. Without a sufficient, reliable supply of safe blood, the health-care system comes into jeopardy.

Shane Kilpatrick, Founder and CEO of MembioThat’s where Shane Kilpatrick (MASc ’17, MBET ’18) and his company, Membio, is working to make a difference. The Canadian startup is developing technology to manufacture fully functioning red blood cells at an industrial scale. 

“Researchers have been manufacturing blood in the lab for the last few decades,” says Kilpatrick. “But they haven’t been able to produce blood cost effectively and at the scale that’s needed to offset the need for donations. Our end goal is to replace donation with manufactured blood.”

 

>Shane Kilpatrick (MASc ’17, MBET ’18)
>Founder and CEO, Membio

 

Read the full story on Waterloo News.

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