Main functions of blood components

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Edexcel AS Biology

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Describe the main functions of the blood components.
Blood is a specialised body fluid that transports oxygen and nutrients (to and from) the heart and around
the body. It is needed for survival in multicellular organisms and a lack of blood in our bodies can result in
fatal diseases.
Here are the main components of the blood and there functions:
Main component of the blood
Consists largely of water
Contains a wide range of dissolved substances
Fibrinogen: soluble substances vital for the clotting of blood
Main function is to carry nutrients including glucose which is the primary source of energy
for cell metabolism
Erythrocytes (red blood cells)
Approx. 5 million per mm3 of blood
Contains haemoglobin: a red pigment which carries oxygen and gives them their colour
Erythrocytes is the scientific name for red blood cells
Formed in the red bone marrow of the short bones such as the ribs
Main function is to transport oxygen around the body
Leucocytes (white blood cells)
Much larger than erythrocytes and can also squeeze through tiny vessels as they can change
their shape
All contain a nucleus and a colourless cytoplasm
Several types: most are formed in the white bone marrow of the long bones such as the femur in
the leg
However, one type called lymphocytes are formed in the lymph glands and spleen
Main function is to defend body against infections
Tiny fragments of large cells called megakaryocytes
Found in the bone marrow
They are involved in clotting the blood
Main function is there participation in blood clotting
Rahma Hussein


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