The human blood is comprised of several important parts all with different purposes. Human blood is made up of plasma, human serum, red blood cells and white blood cells. Red blood cells are the cells that carry oxygen to all parts in the body while white blood cells are the cells that fight against diseases and foreign bodies.
Plasma and human serum are similar but the greatest difference is the clotting factors. Fibrinogen is a substance that is essential for blood clotting to take place. When human serum and plasma are separated from the blood, plasma retains the fibrinogen element while human serum constitutes the part of blood without fibrinogen.
Human serum thus constitutes water which is dissolved with hormones, minerals, proteins and carbon dioxide. Human serum is an important source of electrolytes.
Why is human blood split up?
When an individual donates blood, this blood is separated into different parts so that it can be given to different patients with specific needs. Blood is separated into red blood cells, white blood cells and proteins. Blood proteins constitute serum albumin, globulins, fibrinogen, and plasma. For instance, if a patient is suffering from liver failure or has problems with blood clotting, he may receive blood plasma which has clotting factors. The human serum is the remainder of blood after the clotting factors of fibrinogen have been removed and it contains proteins such as albumin and globulins.
Functions of human serum
The human serum is a circulating carrier of exogenous and endogenous liquids in the blood. It allows substances to stick to the molecules within the serum and be buried within it. Human serum thus helps in the transportation of fatty acids and thyroid hormones which act on most of the cells found in the body.
Thyroid hormones are essential to the proper development and functioning of the body because they help to regulate bone growth and maturation, carry out protein synthesis and increase the body’s basal metabolic rate. Human serum also helps transport other hormones which are fat soluble.
Due to its unique role as a circulating carrier, human serum is used in the protein binding of many drugs to facilitate drug distribution within the body. Human serum is used to distribute antibiotics in the body and albumin allows the curable substances in the antibiotics to be bind and carried out throughout the body.
The human off-the-clot serum is the serum that has been allowed to coagulate naturally after collection and has not been exposed to any anticoagulants. The human off-the-clot serum is ideal for metabolic studies because it is available in the original transfer packs straight from individual donors.
Human AB serum is collected from type AB donors and it lacks antibodies against blood type A and B antigens. Human AB serum is used in cell therapy applications and transplantation and tissue engineering.
Human complement serum is a complex mixture of serum proteins which are activated when antibodies in an immune animal interact with corresponding antigens. Human complement serum is used for in vitro research only and biocompatibility experiments.
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