Red blood cell and platelet research

Majority of the FRCBS turnover comes from the sales of blood products, hence, studies on red cells and platelets and on blood products derived from these cells are natural part in the Blood Service R&D portfolio.

Extracellular vesicle studies

We are currently focusing on blood cell derived extra cellular vesicles (EVs), with two major questions: can EVs used as efficient and safe drug vehicles (EVE-project) and is there demand for commercial blood cell derived EV product. The aims of the large collaborative EVE project, lead by Dr Saara Laitinen of the Blood Service, are described in EV Ecosystem site.

Collaborators in EV studies
Pia Siljander, PhD, Assoc. Prof, University of Helsinki, Department of Biosciences, Division of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, EV Group
Marjo Yliperttula, Professor, University of Helsinki, Faculty of Pharmacy, Division of Pharmaceutical Biosciences, Centre for Drug Research
Maija Puhka, PhD, University of Helsinki, Department of Biosciences, Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM)

Key Publications in EV studies
Yáñez-Mó M, et al. Biological properties of extracellular vesicles and their physiological functions. J Extracell Vesicles. 2015;4:27066. PMID: 25979354
Aatonen MT, et al. Isolation and characterization of platelet-derived extracellular vesicles. J Extracell Vesicles. 2014;3:10.3402/jev.v3.24692. PMID: 25147646

Finnish Prehospital Whole Blood Study (FinnPHWB)

Whole blood product may be an option in some emergency and military situations. We are studying the effects of the whole blood product in patient care and developing the product for clinical use. The project is lead by Dr Jouni Lauronen, MD.

Up-to-date evidence suggests that blood transfusion initiated as early as possible reduces the likelihood of death from hemorrhagic shock, and the sooner replacement therapy with blood products is initiated, the greater the effect on mortality. The international trend has been the re-emergence of whole blood as the primary replacement product for acute bleeding. Finnish Red Cross Blood Service has validated cold stored, 0 RhD positive, male donor, leucoreduced, platelet sparing, low ABO antibody titer whole blood product (LTOWB).

FinnPHWB-study is an open, non-randomized clinical trial in which LTOWB will be used in three prehospital emergency medical services (HUS area, Pirkanmaa area and Päijät-Häme area). Other participating prehospital emergency medical service bases provide controls.

The primary goal is to analyze feasibility of LTOWB in Finnish prehospital emergency medical service and prove safety of it. In addition, coagulation properties of LTOWB and its effects on endothelial injury and inflammation compared to currently prehospitally used packed red cell transfusions is analyzed. We also perform series of in vitro analyses (coagulation and extracellular vesicle studies of LTOWB and non-leucoreduced whole blood product) to understand whole blood products more thoroughly. With registry data we evaluate the need for prehospital blood transfusions and model the need in different exceptional conditions.

Team and key collaborators in FinnPHWB

FRC Blood Service team
Jouni Lauronen, PI
Mikko Arvas
Jarkko Ihalainen
Susanna Sainio

Collaborating senior researchers
Minna Ilmakunnas, HUS
Lauri Handolin, HUS
Jouni Nurmi, HUS
Jukka Pappinen, University of Helsinki, FinnHEMS
Panu Erästö, Aalto University
Lotta Joutsi-Korhonen, HUS
Tuukka Helin, HUS

Timo Jama (MD, PhD student)
Sanna Susila (MD, PhD student)
Milla Juntunen (MD student)


EVE Ecosystem logo.

EV ecosystem

Blood cell derived EVs hold great potential as a new drug delivery vehicle. The EVE ecosystem has been established to promote and translate academic extracellular vesicle (EV) inventions.

Learn about EV Ecosystem