The Process of Blood Fractionation – Christmas Lectures with Walter Bodmer

The Process of Blood Fractionation – Christmas Lectures with Walter Bodmer


Now, Helen, you’re going
to do an experiment here. There’s your sample of blood. That. Your sample of blood there. And it’s got a mixture of
different sorts of cells. You’ll get hold of that, right? Now, you’re going
to pour it in here. Pour it in there. All the way in. All the way in. And let’s see what happens. All the way in. Let’s see what happens. You see what happens? The white cells, those,
they stay up above. And the red cells, they’ve
gone to the bottom. We’ve got a salt
solution in there that’s just right to
separate the white cells from the red cells. Thank you very much, Helen. [APPLAUSE] So that’s the way we do it
with a real sample of blood. And let’s show you
how that works. We’ve got a solution here that’s
just like that salt solution. And here’s our sample
of blood, and Cynthia’s going to hold it for
me so I can show you that the first thing that we
do is we’re going to layer that blood on this solution. So I’m going to layer
this slowly onto this– onto the solution,
and you’ll see what happens, that if I do
it carefully and slowly, it’ll just sit there on top. Because the density
is such that that’s where it sits to start with. Thank you very much. So you see it sitting there. Now, we’ve got a
sample that we did just that with some time ago. Let me show you what’s happened
in the time since we did it. You see? There’s the sample
to which we did that. And already you can see that
just sitting in the stand, a lot of the red cells
have started to sediment. And you’re beginning to see
something accumulating there. Now, if we help that
process by spinning that tube in a centrifuge to
let things settle out quickly, then we get the following
result. This is what we get. The final process. Now, can you see that? The red cells all at the
bottom, the clean remainder of the blood there. And there’s our layer in the
middle of the lymphocytes, just like we showed you
in that model experiment. So that’s how we can
separate the lymphocytes from the rest of the
blood and recover them to work with, to
establish what their types are.

15 thoughts on “The Process of Blood Fractionation – Christmas Lectures with Walter Bodmer

  1. The white cells, which are black, are at the top, but not really. The red cells, which are not just red, are at the bottom. Of course, it's all not blood or cells. I hope you got it now. I'm smarrrrterrrrr allrrrrrready!

  2. Two people handling (presumably) someone else's blood without gloves. 😲
    good old times

  3. If I get on the spinning teacups at Disneyland, will my blood layer out like that? And if I cut myself, it will spill out like a candy cane; red, white, red, clear (?) red, other…clear. I feel faint already.

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