Biotechnology for Regenerative Medicine
Kristen McGraw, Civil Engineering
Applied laboratory research to improve the shelf life of blood stored for transfusions.
Blood transfusions are important aspects in a variety of clinical fields and combat zones throughout the world. Transporting and storing blood in proper conditions for transfusion is a major challenge, because of red blood cells’ (RBCs) half-lives of approx. 42 days. It is difficult for hospitals to predict how much blood is necessary to store, since the blood is no longer useful once the RBCs start to decay over time. In this project our goal was to try and increase the shelf life of RBCs by using different sources of light. As a result of this project, I developed new and useful labratory techniques that will be beneficial in my future career. The digital badge process helped me reflect and summarize these amazing experiences I was able to explore during my freshman year of college. On that note, I would encourage all undergraduate students to take part in something similar. As a freshman, shadowing professionals or experts is a great way to get your foot in the door, and to get exposure to new interests you may want to pursue.