Biopreservation is the process of maintaining the integrity and functionality of cells held outside the native environment for extended storage times. The development of red blood cell (RBC) biopreservation techniques that maintain in vitro RBC viability and function represents the foundation of modern blood banking. The biopreservation of RBCs for clinical use can be categorized based on the techniques used to achieve biologic stability, including hypothermic storage and cryopreservation. This review will examine the emerging role of liposomes in the RBC biopreservation, including the incorporation of liposomes into RBC membranes as an effective approach for minimizing RBC hypothermic storage membrane lesion and use of liposomes as a permeabilization strategy for the intracellular accumulation of novel intracellular cryoprotectants. Integration of current biopreservation research with blood banking practices offers enormous potential for future improvements of safety and efficacy of RBC transfusion.
This review article is published online in the journal Transfusion Medicine and Hemotherapy and is free to access.