Introduced for the first time in 2004, at the initiative of the World Health Organisation (WHO), World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) takes place on 14 June each year.
Organised in France by the French National Blood Service, WBBD pays tribute to the millions of anonymous volunteer blood donors throughout the world. This also helps to raise awareness among the general public of the ongoing need for blood, and encourages donations.
In 2013, WBDD resulted in 20,399 blood donations1. Today there is still no product that can genuinely replace human blood. To alleviate this problem, teams at Inserm are working on the following substitutes:
Michael Marden, Director of Inserm Research Unit 779, “Pathologies Related to Protein Polymerization, Blood Substitutes, and Rare Diseases of the Red Blood Cell,” and his team are developing a haemoglobin-based blood substitute, which includes the use of nanoparticles.
Luc Douay, Director of the team “Proliferation and Differentiation of Stem Cells,” is working on the production of red blood cells from stem cells in the laboratory. His team is trying to develop a new blood substitute, universal blood, made from artificially produced red blood cells that behave like blood.
(1) Source: French National Blood Service website