A Comparison of Dielectric Properties of Human Adult and Umbilical Cord Blood

J. Kulkarni, A.J. Kaleem, T. Radhakrishna, and A. Ahmad (India)


Dielectrophoresis, umbilical cord blood and excess permitivity


Red blood cell (RBC) physiology is a function of its environment. Any alteration in the environment such as tonicity, viscosity, conductivity, pH etc are found to influence the dielectrophoretic behavior of RBCs. Dielectrophoresis is a very sensitive technique, which can detect subtle changes in RBC physiology. The environment of adult and newborn RBCs is significantly different. Therefore dielectrophoresis technique was used to study and compare the alterations in adult and cord blood RBCs at the membrane level. Dielectric parameters of adult and cord blood like dielectrophoretic collection rate (DCR), excess permitivity and threshold voltage (Vth)- the minimum voltage at which erythrocytes are collected at the electrodes- were measured using this technique. The dielectrophoretic collection rate and excess permitivity of cord blood was found to be lower than that of adult blood. It may be attributed to the higher electrical conductivity of cord blood, which results due to higher bilirubin concentration, higher protein content and differences in other biochemical parameters. Increased size and mass of neonatal erythrocytes may have resulted in higher Threshold Voltage observed in cord blood.

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