A small Cleveland, Ohio company may be on the verge of a huge medical breakthrough: artificial human blood. Arteriocyte Medical Systems is housed in the BioEnterprise complex in Cleveland’s University Circle area.

The research going on inside its laboratory is groundbreaking.

“We think we can grow fresh blood faster that what the human body would naturally grow fresh blood,” says Donald Brown, CEO. He is referring to a project in which Arteriocyte has developed a machine that produces actual human blood.

The technique is known as blood pharming and relies upon the creation of an artificial replacement for human bone marrow.

“You want to be able to grow blood faster, more efficiently, more effectively than what the human body would do,” Brown explained, adding that by linking 10 of his machines together as much as 100 units of human blood could be produced in a week’s time.

The military has awarded Arteriocyte a contract to continue the research and development of the artificial blood making machine for battlefield use. It estimates 20 lives per week could be saved if fresh blood were available in battle conditions.

Dozens of companies competed for the contract and two were selected, including Arteriocyte.

“The State of Ohio, BioEnterprise, and even this Northeast Ohio cell therapy corridor has really driven a tremendous amount of focus of moving technologies from bench to bedside,” Brown noted.

His company and its 30 employees are also marketing a machine which produces platelet rich plasma at a patient’s bedside. It is being used in more than 400 hospitals nationwide.