Plasma

Plasma

  • Plasma is a straw-colored, viscous fluid that constitutes nearly 55% of the total blood volume. 
  • Approximately 90-92% of plasma is water, making it the primary solvent for transporting various substances throughout the body. 
  • Proteins contribute 6-8% of plasma content, with major proteins including fibrinogen, globulins, and albumins. 
  • Fibrinogen: Fibrinogen is essential for blood clotting or coagulation. It plays a crucial role in the formation of fibrin, a protein network that stabilizes blood clots. 
  •  Globulins: Globulins primarily participate in the body's defense mechanisms, including immune responses and antibody production. 
  • Albumins: Albumins help maintain osmotic balance in the blood, regulating the movement of water and solutes between the blood and surrounding tissues. 
  • Plasma also contains small amounts of minerals such as sodium (Na+), calcium (Ca++), magnesium (Mg++), bicarbonate (HCO3–), chloride (Cl–), etc. 
  • Glucose, amino acids, lipids, and other nutrients are present in plasma as they are continually in transit throughout the body, serving as energy sources and building blocks for cellular functions. 
  • Factors necessary for blood coagulation or clotting are present in plasma in an inactive form. 
  • These factors play a crucial role in the clotting cascade, a series of enzymatic reactions that lead to the formation of blood clots. 
  • Plasma without the clotting factors is referred to as serum. Serum is obtained by allowing blood to clot and then removing the clotting factors through centrifugation. 
  • Unlike plasma, serum does not contain clotting factors, making it suitable for certain diagnostic tests and laboratory analyses.