Artificial Red Blood Cells

Image from Steve Bowers
Respirocytes hold gases such as oxygen or carbon dioxide at pressures of up to 1000 bar

Bloodborne, approximately 1-micron-diameter spherical nanomedical device that acts as an artificial, mechanical red blood cell.

Hylotech respirocytes are usually designed as a diamondoid 1000-atmosphere pressure vessel with active pumping powered by endogenous serum glucose, and can deliver several hundred times more oxygen to the tissues per unit volume than natural red cells while simultaneously managing carbonic acidity.

A more sophisticated form of respirocyte, known as Airdust, is used as a standard part of vacuum tolerance medical equipment; more details here. Airdust is also able to remove CO2 or other gases such as nitrogen from the body and blood.

More advanced still is vasculoid blood-replacement technology, which entirely fills the bloodstream with nanoscopic pumping devices. This system does not physically circulate and there is no need for a heart to pump blood around the body; instead respirocytes and other technological systems are moved by mechanical cilia in the vessel walls.
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Development Notes
Text by Steve Bowers and Todd Drashner
Initially published on 25 February 2002.

The Concept of the Respirocyte was developed by Robert Freitas in his 1998 paper "A Mechanical Artificial Red Blood Cell: Exploratory Design in Medical Nanotechnology".