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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 162102, 6 pages
Research Article

Individual Osmotic Fragility Distribution: A New Parameter for Determination of the Osmotic Properties of Human Red Blood Cells

1Institute of Biomedical Engineering and Instrumentation, Wrocław University of Technology, Wybrzeże Wyspiańskiego 27, 50-370 Wrocław, Poland
2Regional Specialist Hospital in Wrocław, Research and Development Centre, Kamieńskiego 73a, 51-124 Wrocław, Poland

Received 10 September 2013; Revised 3 December 2013; Accepted 5 December 2013; Published 2 January 2014

Academic Editor: Christian Wagner

Copyright © 2014 Tomasz Walski et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of our experiments was to characterise and to validate the osmotic fragility test when applied to human blood samples with no significant alterations of osmotic fragility but with a differentiating shape of the haemolysis curve. All experiments were carried out on human erythrocytes taken from the Regional Centre of Blood Donation and Blood Therapy in Wrocław. The washed erythrocytes were exposed to near-infrared radiation (NIR) or ozonated, and the osmotic fragility test was applied. The osmotic fragility, calculated from the experimental haemolysis curve for the control and cells irradiated for 15 min, is the same within the empirical error. Calculation of the first derivative of the haemolysis curve allowed us to visualise the changes in osmotic fragility distribution after exposure to NIR. By contrast, significant changes both to the osmotic fragility value and the distribution of osmotic properties were observed after an erythrocytes ozonation procedure. Description of cell osmotic properties requires at least two parameters—the value of osmotic fragility and the slope of the haemolysis curve in the region where absorbance sharply increases due to cell haemolysis.