Today small amounts of RBCs can be manufactured from hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells from a single umbilical cord blood (UBC) donation. However, current yields are orders of magnitude too low for production of meaningful quantities. For a single unit of RBC, the most sophisticated method (including growth factors) would require two tennis courts of culture area. Major advancements are required on both the biological and engineering levels to allow improvements in numerical cell expansion using low-cost culture media in order to obtain clinically relevant numbers of cells. Blood pharming might, however, yield neutrophils at a clinically relevant scale in the near future.

– Konrad Messmer