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Difference between Plasma and Serum

Contrary to popular misconception, serum and plasma are not the same thing, hence they cannot be used synonymously. You can successfully learn the key distinction between plasma and serum with the help of this article.

Difference between Plasma and Serum

What is Plasma?

The liquid component of blood, known as plasma, accounts for around 55% of the total volume of blood and approximately 90% water. Its function is to transport various substances throughout the body, including proteins, minerals, hormones, and antibodies. Since plasma circulates throughout the entire body, cells also discharge their waste into it. Salt, glucose, lipids, water, and protein make up plasma. Plasma usually aids in controlling the body's temperature and blood pressure. Plasma has a lengthy shelf life and can be kept for up to a year.

Functions of plasma

Your body's plasma can serve a number of functions. Plasma oversees:

  1. Dispersing water where it is required by your body.
  2. Supplying proteins, hormones, and nutrients to various body areas while also assisting in the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide.
  3. Preventing the collapse or blockage of blood vessels.
  4. Maintaining circulation and blood pressure.
  5. Balancing heat production and absorption to control body temperature.
  6. Transferring waste from cells to your liver, lungs, and kidneys for elimination
  7. Aiding in blood clotting
  8. Protection from infections caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites.

What is Serum?

Simply said, it is the fluid portion that lacks cells and the blood clotting component. The blood's protein fibrinogen turns into fibrin when the clotting factor is taken out of the body. Another protein is fibrin, but it cannot be dissolved. By producing a clot and stopping the flow of blood through the wound, it aids in tissue repair. Albumin, fibrinogen, globulin, hormones, nutrients, amino acids, nitrogenous waste, and other substances are found in plasma in addition to water. Notably, the serum has a limited shelf life and can only be stored for a brief time.

It is beneficial for identifying issues with cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure, etc.

When cultivating many diverse types of human cells, human serum produces the best outcomes, but notably when cultivating immune system-related cells. Human serum is added to lymphocyte culture media by researchers to support the development of human lymphocytes and dendritic cells, which are crucial for immunity. In immunohistochemical staining procedures, which determine which foreign antigens elicit an immune response, human serum is used. Human serum is additionally used by researchers in HLA tissue-typing applications to check the compatibility of organ donors and recipients.

The best serum for metabolic research is human off-the-clot serum. Laboratories allow entire blood to naturally coagulate without exposure to anticoagulants after collection to get human off-the-clot serum. The serum is then separated from its cellular components in the lab using a centrifuge before the serum is allowed to go through a further clotting process. Any leftover clotting factors are eliminated by allowing the serum to coagulate once more. Laboratories then centrifuge the sample once more before removing the leftover serum and packing it in accordance with the specifications of the researchers.

Difference between Plasma and Serum

Plasma Serum
Part of the blood that is liquid and translucent and has the colour straw. The blood's extracellular fluid is an unadulterated fluid.
Clotting factor and serum make up its composition. The blood's extracellular fluid is an unadulterated fluid.
After centrifuging blood containing an anticoagulant, it is obtained. After centrifuging coagulated blood, it is obtained.
Consists approximately 55% of the blood's total volume. A smaller volume than plasma.
Separating the plasma from the blood sample is quite simple and takes little time. The serum can be separated from the blood sample without the use of an anticoagulant.
Includes fibrinogen. Fibrinogen is absent.
Contains proteins, salts, lipids, and carbohydrates along with 92% water. Contains dissolved hormones, proteins, minerals, and carbon dioxide in 90% water.
Density: 1.025 g/ml 1.024 g/ml is the density.
Holds up well over time. It can be kept for ten years. A limited shelf life. It can only be kept for a few months.
The primary transporter of excretory products is plasma. An essential supply of electrolytes.
Plasma contains freely floating cells. Cells are attached together by clot formation

Separation of Blood Plasma and Serum

Centrifugation can be used to separate the makeup of serum and plasma. Notably, each component may be distinguished from the others due to differences in size, weight, and density. To separate blood components like white blood cells and red blood cells from plasma, an anticoagulant called EDTA Heparin is required. However, the procedure for separating serum is difficult.

Functions of Plasma

Plasma serves a number of crucial roles because it is an essential component of human blood which are:

  • Coagulation: Proteins like thrombin and fibrinogen, among other chemicals, are found in plasma and are essential to the clotting process and the prevention of bleeding.
  • Immunity: Additionally, plasma contains anti-infectious proteins that support the development of a robust immune system and shield you from dangerous infections.
  • Blood Pressure: Albumin, a protein found in plasma, helps to keep the oncotic pressure constant, and stops fluid from seeping into your body and skin. It also makes sure that the vessels are properly drained of blood.
  • Transportation: Plasma aids in the movement of proteins, hormones, minerals, and other vital components throughout the body. Additionally, it eliminates waste and sends it to the skin, liver, or lungs.
  • Body Temperature: Plasma maintains body temperature by balancing heat gain and loss inside the body.
  • pH Balance: The plasma can maintain a regular pH level to support the operation of the cells thanks to all the compounds that are present in it.

Functions of Serum

Like plasma, serum serves a variety of purposes, such as:

  • The human serum aids in the blood's circulation of both foreign and endogenous fluids. Guarantee the appropriate operation of the cells, it aids in the movement of fatty acids and hormones.
  • Albumin protein helps to bind and transport the curable components of these antibiotics throughout the body while serum aids in the dispersion of antibiotics in the body.

Understanding the Difference between Plasma and Serum

Given that both plasma and serum are parts of human blood, understanding the differences between them can be a little more challenging. Both plasma and serum serve various bodily purposes. However, both are crucial to the movement of nutrients and other materials throughout the body.

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