Human Anatomy and Physiology

Red blood cells do what in the body?

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2011-10-17 02:14:16

Red blood cells (also referred to as erythrocytes)

are the most common type of blood cell and the vertebrate

organism's principal means of delivering oxygen (O2) to the body

tissues via the blood flow through the circulatory system. They

take up oxygen in the lungs or gills and release it while squeezing

through the body's capillaries.

These cells' cytoplasm is rich in hemoglobin, an iron-containing

biomolecule that can bind oxygen and is responsible for the blood's

red color.

In humans, mature red blood cells are flexible biconcave disks

that lack a cell nucleus and most organelles. 2.4 million new

erythrocytes are produced per second.[1] The cells develop in the

bone marrow and circulate for about 100-120 days in the body before

their components are recycled by macrophages. Each circulation

takes about 20 seconds. Approximately a quarter of the cells in the

human body are red blood cells.

Red blood cells are also known as RBCs, red blood

corpuscles (an archaic term), haematids, erythroid

cells or erythrocytes (from Greek erythros for

"red" and kytos for "hollow", with cyte translated as

"cell" in modern usage). Packed red blood cells, which are made

from whole blood with the plasma removed, are used in transfusion


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