Cryopreservation of Human Red Blood Cells

  • Michael J. G. Thomas
  • Susan H. Bell
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology™ book series (MIMB, volume 38)


The red blood cell (RBC), or erythrocyte, is a flexible biconcave disc 8 µm in diameter. Its main function is to carry oxygen from the lungs to the tissues of the body and to perform this it contains a pigment, hemoglobin. During its 120-d lifespan, it travels about 300 miles around the arteriovenous circulation, repeatedly passing through the capillary bed. As the mean diameter of a capillary is about 3 µm, the red cell has to retain a high degree of flexibility which requires energy. Energy is generated as adenosine triphosphate (ATP) by the anaerobic, glycolytic pathway.


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael J. G. Thomas
    • 1
  • Susan H. Bell
    • 1
  1. 1.Army Blood Supply DepotAldershotUK

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