|HUMAN BLOOD - RED BLOOD CELLS AND PLATELETS|
Formed elements in human peripheral blood include white blood cells, platelets (thrombocytes ), and red blood cells (RBC's, erythrocytes ). These images show RBC's and platelets stained with Wright's stain at 1000X magnification.
Red Blood Cells
RBC's are the most numerous cells seen in the peripheral blood and contain the hemoglobin that carries oxygen to the body's cells. A normal adult will have 5 to 6 million RBC's per cubic millimeter of blood. Mature RBC's lack a nucleus, stain pinkish-red and are 5 to 9 microns in diameter. No granules are visible in these doughnut-shaped cells. A pale central area results from the biconcave shape of the cell.
Platelets are small (2 to 5 microns in diameter) structures that appear as a clump of reddish-purple granules in a nearly transparent cytoplasm. Fragments formed from megakaryocytes, platelets are essential for the blood clotting. A normal adult has 250,000 to 400,000 platelets per cubic millimeter of blood.
Red blood cells and platelets are shown below. Some images also contain white blood cells for comparison. Click on each image to see the enlarged version.