Osmosis and Red Blood Cells

Topics: Bone marrow, Red blood cell, Cell membrane Pages: 10 (2836 words) Published: September 9, 2013
Word count: ____
2013
The effect different concentrations of sodium chloride has on red blood cells Georgia Edgar
Teacher: Mrs McPherson
John Paul College
Word count: ____
2013
The effect different concentrations of sodium chloride has on red blood cells Georgia Edgar
Teacher: Mrs McPherson
John Paul College

Table of Contents
Abstract2
Introduction3
Aim3
Background3
Hypothesis4
Materials5
Method5
Results6
Analysis of Results & Discussion9
Conclusion9
Recommendations9
Bibliography10
Appendices11

Abstract
The purpose of this investigation was to see the effects of different concentrations of saline solution on Red Blood Cells. When a Red Blood Cell is submersed in a high concentration of saline solution it will create a hypertonic environment and therefore cause the cell to rupture due to the process of osmosis. The methods used to collect data were observation and note taking. Overall the results proved the hypothesis correct with major findings being a higher concentration of salt causing a hypotonic environment and a low concentration. Recommendations included major changes to the materials and method which would allow quantities data to be collected as well.

Introduction
Aim
This investigation was conducted to see the effects of different concentrations of saline solution on Red Blood Cells. Background
Blood is an extremely important bodily fluid that has a variety of functions including waste removal and oxygen distribution. Also known as the “river of life”, blood is pumped through the arteries, capillaries and veins by the heart and provides oxygen and nutrients to every cell in the body. (WebMD, 2010) It contains both a plasma and cellular portion both of which have extremely important roles. Plasma is the liquid portion of blood and makes up approximately 55% of this bodily fluid. (WebMD, 2010) It acts as both a substance for cells to float in and also dissolves important electrolytes, nutrients, hormones and proteins to distribute to cells as it circulates the body. The cellular portion is quite complex containing a mixture of Red Blood Cells, white blood cells and platelets. (Bianco, 2013) Each of the cells in the cellular portion of the blood have an important role; with platelets being parts of cells that the body uses for clotting, White Blood Cells fighting infection and Red Blood Cells distributing oxygen around the body. (WebMD, 2010) Also known as an Erythrocyte or RBC, the main function of a Red Blood Cell is to travel throughout the body delivering oxygen and removing waste (Bianco, 2013). Men have on average 5,200,000 Red Blood Cells per cubic centre metre and women have an average of 4 600,000 Red Blood Cells per cubic centimetre, making them the most abundant cells in the body. (Bianco, 2013) They have a biconcave shape and contain a substance called haemoglobin which is a molecule designed to hold and carry oxygen, allowing it to be distributed to cells around the body. (Bianco, 2013) The intracellular fluid of erythrocytes is a solution of salts, glucose, protein and haemoglobin. (Mcgill, unknown) Red blood cells are produced in the bone marrow through a process called haematopoiesis. (Bianco, 2013) They originate as a pluripotential hematopoietic stem cell which forms committed stem cells that will specialize into specific types of blood cells. (Bianco, 2013) During the formation of a Red Blood Cell the pluripotential hematopoietic stem cell loses its nucleus and leaves the bone marrow as a reticulocyte. (Bianco, 2013) The reticulocyte will contain some remnants of organelles that will later leave the cell, allowing it to form a mature Erythrocyte or Red Blood Cell. The average lifespan of a Red Blood Cell is 120 days, when they age they are removed by macrophages when circulating through the liver and spleen. (Mcgill, unknown)The amount of Erythrocytes in the body is directly related to the amount of the hormone...
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