NEW CONCEPTS OF FREEZE-DRYING HUMAN RED BLOOD CELLS IN PRE-TRANSFUSION MEDICINE
Red blood cell (RBC) transfusion saves lives. For patient safety, pre-transfusion compatibility testing is required, which relies on reagent RBCs. However, reagent RBCs have practical limitations of short shelf-life and need continuous refrigeration. This doctoral thesis developed new concepts for stabilising reagent RBCs by freeze-drying. A successful proof-of-concept showed that freeze-dried RBCs are stable for over one year without refrigeration and suitable for pre-transfusion testing of specific blood groups. Thus, freeze-dried RBCs emerge as a promising strategy enabling areas with limited infrastructure to access reliable reagent RBCs and new avenues as a commodity in transfusion medicine and new diagnostic concepts.