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How do I describe the composition of blood?

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Quick Answer

The composition of blood includes cells suspended in a liquid. While slightly denser than water it is three to four times as viscous, according to About.com.

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Full Answer

The cellular material in blood is 99 percent red blood cells, and the remainder is platelets and white blood cells. About.com reports that the non-cellular composition of blood consists of water, proteins, amino acids, lipids, carbohydrates, vitamins, hormones, dissolved gases, electrolytes and cellular waste. The volume of each red blood cell is one-third hemoglobin. Blood plasma is over 90 percent water, with proteins its most abundant solute. Blood transports oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen as its primary gases.

Virtual Medical Centre indicates that blood makes up about 8 percent of one's overall body weight. It has a slightly basic pH of 7.35 to 7.45. Blood viscosity is important as substance that flows too easily or with too much resistance causes additional heart strain along with severe cardiovascular problems. Oxygenated blood in the arteries is a brighter color of red than the deoxygenated blood of the veins due to the way hemoglobin binds to oxygen.

As with most other suspensions, it is possible to separate the components of blood using filtration. However, the use of a centrifuge to speed separation is common. According to About.com, the separated blood forms three layers: the red blood cells; the buffy coat, which is primarily platelets and white blood cells; and the top layer of plasma.

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