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Universal plasma project recognized with award

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Nonwovens Innovation & Research Institute (NIRI) has led a consortium of medical specialists to win the prestigious Collaborate to Innovate (C2I) Award for their Sanguis universal plasma project.

The Engineer C2I Awards, in partnership with EngineeringUK and EPSRC, recognize the very best in UK technology-led collaborations and innovations in engineering and the Healthcare and Medical Award celebrates collaborative innovations in this truly life-changing and hugely competitive field.

NIRI’s award-winning Sanguis universal plasma project combined textiles and chemistry innovation in a project that could transform transfusion services and help save lives. Currently, only blood group AB plasma can be given to anyone, but only 4% of the UK population has this blood type, meaning a constant pressure on supply, whether in hospital, emergency or military scenarios.

Working in partnership with NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT) and Macopharma, the Sanguis project has developed a process to remove ABO antibodies from donated human plasma, creating universal plasma which can be used to treat people of any blood type.  Key to the process is a fabric-based immunoadsorption filter, developed and patented by NIRI.

With a global market value in excess of £350 million for therapeutic plasma, the Sanguis universal plasma project envisages potential savings of £20 million to the UK health service alone. Outside of the UK, and to encourage global penetration, NIRI and the consortium members currently plan to offer the filtration technology as an add-on, rather than integrated directly into blood collection sets, allowing it to be used with any type of blood pack, enabling global access, and work is now underway to scale up the nonwoven filter production process.

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