What is blood made of?

Blood is made up of four basic components; plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Alongside these four component are other things like nutrients, hormones, clotting agents and waste products.

Plasma is the extracellular matrix of blood cells and is pale yellow in colour. It is mostly made up of water (up to 95% by volume) and also contains dissolved proteins, glucose, clotting factors, electrolytes, hormones and carbon dioxide. It helps keep electrolytes in balance and protects the body from infection.

Red blood cells (RBCs) are the most common type of blood cell and the is the principal means of delivering oxygen to the body tissues. The RBCs are moved around the body in the circulatory system and transport oxygen by taking it from the lungs or gills and releasing it while squeezing through the body’s capillaries. RBCs are abundant in haemoglobin, which binds with oxygen and is responsible for the red colour of the RBCs.

White blood cells (WBCs) are cells of the immune system. They help protect the body from both infectious disease and foreign invaders. WBCs or leukocytes are created in the bone marrow, in a multipotent cell known as a hematopoietic stem cell.  Leukocytes are found throughout the body can be divided into five types:

  • Neutrophil (Multilobed nucleus)

  • Eosinophil (Bi-lobed nucleus)

  • Basophil (Bi-lobed or tri-lobed nucleus)

  • Lymphocyte (Deeply staining eccentric nucleus)

  • Monocyte (Kidney-shaped nucleus)

Platelets are also known as thrombocytes and are present to help stop bleeding. Platelets contain no nucleus and are fragments of cytoplasm which are derived from the megakaryocytes of the bone marrow. Platelets stop bleeding in three stages:

  • Adhesion

  • Activation

  • Aggregation

Saad Bhatty

Blogger, journalist, geologist and Tech-enthusiast. There is always something to write about!

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