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Difference Between Serum and Plasma

Serum-vs-Plasma

A living body constitutes numerous cells, tissues, muscles, blood, and much more inside it. Similar are the two terms, serum and plasma, acquiring a significant portion of a body. Scientists have vigorously used them to perform different blood tests in laboratories, being abundant in blood. It is the central part of an organism that also helps collect information about various illnesses.

Serum and plasma compose proteins, toxins, hormones, electrolytes, and whatever tiny substance is present around it. We can also quickly disintegrate them using the centrifugation method and utilize them for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes. The difference between them lies in such protein-like substances. A liquid material that detaches from the blood when it coagulates is called serum. At the same time, plasma is another liquid substance that firmly grasps blood cells in suspension. Let’s glance at the tabular comparison between the two for better awareness.

Comparison Chart

Basis of DifferentiationSerumPlasma
Density1.024 g/ml1.025 g/ml
AntibodiesCross reacts with
recipient antigen
Fight against
foreign body  
Life SpanSeveral days at
2-6°C
Stored yearly
TypeFluidLiquid
Water ContentConsists of almost
90% water
Consists of around
92-95% water
FibrinogenAbsentPresent
AnticoagulantNot neededEDTA and Heparin
UsageBlood typing
diagnosing test
Diagnosing blood
clotting like disorders

Briefly Describe Serum

If we generally speak about the Serum, it’s everything in the plasma, excluding blood cells and clotting factors. Being a liquid material, Serum is an essential source of different blood substances, such as antigens, proteins, hormones, electrolytes, and antibodies. This portion of blood helps diagnose multiple diseases, for instance, hypertension, diabetes, cholesterol concentration, etc.

Briefly Describe Plasma

The entire blood volume contains almost 55% of the plasma, further accumulating the maximum (90%) water. Other than water, albumin and fibrinogen help prevent fluid from leaking into adjacent cells and forming blood clots, respectively. The crucial role of blood plasma is to distribute all essential nutrients, antibodies, proteins, hormones, and other substances in the body. Since it helps different cells get their desired substances, they deposit their waste while moving around. Hence, plasma is also responsible for waste removal.

Differences between Serum & Plasma

As we have mentioned earlier, both are pretty distinct from each other. So, let’s find out the differences enlisted below.

Definition

Serum

A liquid portion of blood that exists after the coagulation completes, excluding clotting factors and blood cells, is called Serum.

Plasma

It is a yellow-colored fluid present in the blood which constitutes more than half of the blood volume to perform numerous functions.

Role of Centrifugation

Serum

We can usually obtain Serum through centrifugation after clotting, which is a comparatively tricky process.

Plasma

On the other hand, plasma is acquired through the same process but before clotting.

Major Constituents

Serum

A serum holds all essential substances in the blood, for example, antibodies, proteins, hormones, electrolytes, etc.

Plasma

This blood substance contains maximum water content, proteins, and also the clotting factors. Not to forget, it excludes all blood clotting factors.

Volume & Density

Serum

It has a comparatively lesser volume than plasma, with a density of 1.024 g/ml.

Plasma

Whereas plasma has about 55% of the whole blood with a density of 1.025 g/ml.

Primary Function

Serum

Nowadays, experts are using animal serum to produce anti-venoms, antitoxins, and such anti-substances for vaccinations. It is typically involved to diagnose diabetes, high cholesterol level, uric acid level, and blood pressure through blood tests.

Plasma

On the other hand, plasma helps a body transport excretory metabolites and similar substances inside a body. Another primary function of plasma is to regulate a body’s temperature and also to maintain blood pressure.

Final Verdict

Despite being the components of blood, Serum and plasma are entirely different. They might be similar in having protein molecules but varies at the differential isolation process. The serum is the excess fluid after blood coagulation, whereas plasma is the entire liquid portion where blood cells are transported.

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