Biophysical characterization of beta-thalassemic red blood cells

Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics
Omar S DesoukySeham M El-Marakby


Thalassemia is the world's most common hereditary disease; therefore, more interest has been devoted for the development of the screening procedure of this disease. In beta-thalassemia major, the subject of the current study, impaired biosynthesis of beta-globin leads to accumulation of unpaired alpha-globin chain. The objective of the present study, was to examine many of the biophysical properties of beta-thalassemia major red blood cells (RBCs) and to study the possibility of use of any of them as a preliminary screening tool for beta-thalassemia. The percentage of normal hemolysis, osmotic fragility test, turbidity test, rheological properties, and dielectric properties, were studied in 20 regularly blood transfused thalassemia major patients who were under chelation therapy and their status were compared with those of 10 healthy subjects. There was an increase in the percentage of hemolysis for beta-thalassemia by 114.6% compared to the normal RBCs. The fragility curve for beta-thalassemia RBCs showed a shift toward lower NaCl concentration compared to the normal curve. The average osmotic fragility (H(50): the NaCl concentration producing 50% homolysis) for beta-thalassemia was found to be 3.21 +/- 0.67 g/l, whereas for n...Continue Reading


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