I had an idea come to me during Biology class and I immediately asked my teacher, but she couldn't really answer the question, so I'll ask it here.
What are the limiting factors in the production of synthetic red blood cells with no antigens? I mean, we do have the human genome mapped, but am I naive to think that we have genetic technology capable of doing this?
If red blood cells are too complex to manufacture, is it feasible to manufacture much smaller particles of just hemoglobin inside small spheres of cell membrane and use that as a temporary replacement for red blood cells?
(I was at a medical research talk a while ago and one professor was explaining that there are many other proteins bound onto a red blood cell that aren't of the ABO or RH system. Normally this isn't a problem for recipients who only occasionally received transfusions but for people who need a long-term supply of blood, their bodies do get sensitized to the foreign proteins and will eventually start attacking the foreign red blood cells).