The goal for the preservation of blood is the optimal survival and function of the stored blood after reinfusion. In vivo means of assessing viability after storage would be ideal but these survival studies are expensive, involved, and not without danger. Thus, in vitro means have been sought to evaluate preservation. The most frequently used of the in vitro tests for predicting red blood cell survival is deformability.

This study applies a recently developed method of measuring deformability to assess changes in stored blood. In brief, the method involves drawing a "mini" unit of blood from each of three normal healthy individuals. Citrate-phosphate-dextrose was chosen as the anticoagulant-preservative solution because it is in common use in blood banks in this country. The amount of anticoagulant solution in the conventional single donor pack was reduced proportionately for the 70 ml of blood drawn. After one and three weeks of storage under transfusion service conditions, aliquots of the stored samples were aseptically removed. The red blood cells were tested for deformability in parallel with freshly drawn samples from the same donors.

The deformability was assayed by washing and resuspending the red blood cells in phosphate buffered saline. Small patches of the red blood cell membrane of an intact cell were than aspirated into 0.6 micron diameter holes in polycarbonate sieves. Three different pressures were employed. After fixation and preparation, the cells were observed on the scanning electron microscope. Appropriately oriented cells were photographed and the depth of penetration of the red cell membrane into the holes was measured. Extension ratios of the membrane in the aspirated portions of the red cells were calculated and compared for each of the three donors at each of the three aspiration pressures.

No significant differences in deformability, as measured by this approach, were noted between the fresh samples and those stored for one and three weeks respectively. No significant changes in the elastic properties of the red cell membrane occured during 21 days of storage of blood in CPD preservative.


Medical Technology


Graduate School

First Advisor

Brian S. Bull

Second Advisor

Richard W. Hubbard

Third Advisor

Robert E. Moncrieff

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Blood Preservation



Page Count

ill; 36

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives