Modification of red blood cells for laboratory quality control use

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Purpose of reviewThis review describes the current state-of-the-art with respect to the modification of red blood cells for creating quality controls for use in immunohaematology.Recent findingsThe author has identifed five technologies able to create modified red blood cells potentially suitable for use in quality control. Two of the technologies use enzymes, glycosidases or glycosyltransferases, to modify red blood cells and create ABO quality control cells. A third technology uses polyethylene glycol to reduce antigen expression by masking epitopes, whereas a fourth technology is speculative and involves the in-vitro generation of genetically modified erythroid cells. None of these four technologies are in routine use to make commercially available quality controls. A fifth commercially available technology creates quality controls by adding synthetic blood group A and B antigens (FSLs) to group O red blood cells, creating what are referred to as ‘kodecytes’. This technology is also being used to add blood group peptides onto red cells for use in the future in a range of diagnostic applications.SummaryTransducing cell-derived erythroid populations with blood group encoding or silencing vectors, and the use of FSLs to create kodecytes, are two technologies with the potential to provide quality controls for laboratory use.

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