Red blood cells

Red blood cells

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Credit: PHOTO INSOLITE REALITE/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of human red blood cells (erythrocytes), biconcave discs packed with haemoglobin (the iron-containing respiratory pigment), that function in the transport of oxygen & carbon dioxide. The biconcave shape is an adaption for maximum surface area, over which the exchange of gases may take place. Erythrocytes are also very flexible, and are able to squeeze into the smallest capillary. The shape of erythrocytes is dependent on the osmotic pressure of plasma; in hypertonic plasma (higher concentration) they become crenated and appear star-shaped. Magnification: x2,000 at 6x7cm, x1000 at 35mm size.

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Keywords: anatomy, cells, circulation, circulatory system, coloured, haematology, healthy, hematology, human body, many, multiple, normal, red blood cell, red blood cells, scanning electron micrograph, sem

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