Institute of Blood Transfusion

The Institute of Blood Transfusion (IBT) is the sole National Key Research Institute devoted to transfusion science and medicine. IBT is committed to improving health and saving lives by conducting basic and applied research in the field of blood service, developing science-based regulations and standards, making policy recommendations, and providing technical and educational support.

Established in 1957 and relocated from Tianjin to Chengdu in 1965, IBT has a long and respected history of achievements. It has played a leading role in the development of transfusion science and technology in China.

IBT is composed of six research centers: Transfusion-transmitted diseases (TTD), Immunology and Clinical Transfusion, Plasma Proteins, Stem Cells and their Applications, Biomedical Engineering, and Blood Resource Management.

The TTD Center focuses on the early detection of transfusion-transmitted infectious diseases; the establishment of methods for predicting treatment responses in patients infected with hepatitis B and V viruses, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), before treatment starts; and the development of technology for monitoring treatment efficacy during therapy and evaluation after treatment.

The Clinical Transfusion Research Center includes four sections: Non-infectious Risks, Infectious Risks, the HLA Laboratory, and the Blood Preservation Laboratory. The Non-infectious Risks Section studies the genetic basis of human blood groups, with the aim of increasing the efficiency and safety of clinical blood transfusion, identifying complex blood groups, and reducing the rates of immunological transfusion reactions and hemolytic disease in newborns.

The Infectious Risks Section screens blood donors and develops new blood screening strategies. The HLA Laboratory studies immunological responses following organ and human stem cell transplantation, and provides consultation and treatment recommendations for clinicians. The Blood Preservation Laboratory is concerned with proper removal of protective agents following long-term, low-temperature blood storage and evaluation of the functionality of lyophilized red blood cells.
The Plasma Proteins Center focuses on elucidating the structure and function of blood plasma proteins and their therapeutic applications in various diseases, as well as developing blood plasma products and diagnostic kits for thrombosis and hemostasis. It also evaluates the safety and efficacy of blood component products and formulates standardized methods for detecting and preparing them.
The Stem Cells Center researches the differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) into functionally mature blood cells and possible clinical applications. The center is also interested in establishing efficient ways to reprogram small amounts of human peripheral or umbilical cord blood cells into hiPSCs and in developing disease-specific cell models. Currently, scientists are exploring a method for inducing mature blood cells in a xeno-free system and are uncovering mechanisms that control early hematopoiesis by means of regulating genes and adding specific small molecules.
The Biomedical Engineering Center’s research has always focused on the development and research of blood substitutes and novel plasma substitutes with function of oxygen-carrying,and ways to minimize degradation of stored blood, including the influence of nitric oxide on red blood cell function and optimizing storage of blood collected from those living at high altitude. The center also evaluates biomaterials for their potential use in transfusions and develops transfusion devices including a leukocyte reduction transfusion set, filters for the depletion of leukocytes from platelet concentrate, and platelet storage bags.
The Blood Resource Management Center researches the safety and management of blood resources including blood supply chain management, blood donor recruitment, optimization of the blood resource management system, and emergency management of blood resources.
IBT has several key laboratories, among them the Nucleic Acid Testing Reference Laboratory, the HIV Confirmatory Testing Laboratory, and the HLA Typing Reference Laboratory, all authorized by the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC); the Tissue Typing Reference Laboratory for the Chinese Marrow Donor Program, accredited by the Chinese Red Cross Society; and the Sichuan Provincial Key Laboratory of Plasma Protein.
IBT publishes two scientific journals, the Chinese Journal of Blood Transfusion and the International Journal of Blood Transfusion and Hematology.

Blood safety is a priority of the Chinese government due to its impact on public health. As the national research institute for transfusion medicine, IBT cooperates closely with NHFPC and the Chinese Society of Blood Transfusion. With a dedicated team of nearly 210 staff, IBT will continue to make important discoveries in transfusion science and medicine, advancing the practices and standards for safe transfusions, and helping to ensure blood safety while improving health and saving lives.