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Wild-type Human Red Blood Cell and Sickle Cell Disease Human Red Blood Cells (1 and 2)

Red blood cell on a mica substrate imaged in PBS solution (left). The cell displays the characteristic biconcave shape of healthy RBCs. It has a diameter of approximately 8µm and a height of approximately 2.5µm, 20µm scan. Sample purchased from Research Blood Components, Brighton, MA.

Red blood cells from a patient with sickle cell disease (SCD) imaged on a mica substrate in PBS solution. RBC (1), 25µm scan, is in an oxygenated environment while RBC (2), 20µm scan, is in the fully deoxygenated state. These RBCs have a highly irregular morphology as compared to the characteristic biconcave shape of normal RBCs. Polymerized hemoglobin within the cell results in highly irregular morphologies characterized by protrusions, elongation, and bumps. Sample courtesy of Biree Andemariam, MD, University of Connecticut Health Center.

All images courtesy of Jamie Maciaszek and Professor George Lykotrafitis, University of Connecticut, and adapted from:

Maciaszek, J L, B Andemariam, and G Lykotrafitis. "Microelasticity of Red Blood Cells in Sickle Cell Disease." The Journal of Strain Analysis for Engineering Design 46, 5 (2011): doi:10.1177/0309324711398809.

Maciaszek, Jamie L, and George Lykotrafitis. "Sickle Cell Trait Human Erythrocytes Are Significantly Stiffer Than Normal." Journal of Biomechanics 44, 4 (2011): doi:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2010.11.008.



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