Plasma is the matrix or the extracellular fluid of the blood tissue. It is straw coloured, non living, and slightly alkaline aqueous fluid with pH of 7.4. About 30-35% of blood is plasma.

Plasma contains: Water (About 91%), Plasma proteins (about 7%), Organic substances and inorganic substances (2%)
Functions of Plasma:
  • Transport: Plasma transport the digested food products like glucose, amino acids, fatty acids, etc.
  • Body immunity: one type of globulins called immunoglobulins act as antibodies. They inactive invading microorganisms and their toxins.
  • Prevention of blood loss:  Fibrinogen helps in blood clotting and thus prevents blood loss. During blood clotting the soluble fibrinogen is converted into insoluble fibrin.
  • Retention of fluid in blood
  • Maintenance of blood pH: Plasma proteins act as acid base buffers and thus maintain the blood pH by neutralizing strong acids and bases.
  • Regulation of body temperature: Plasma helps in the uniform distribution of heat all over the body, and in conducting heat to skin for dissipation.
Lymph: It is an interstitial fluid, present between the cells of a tissue. Exchange of metabolites, gases and waste products takes place through the fluid.
Functions of Lymph:

  • It maintains balance between blood and tissue fluid.
  • Add lymphocytes for the release of antibodies.
  • It destroys the invading micro organisms and foreign particles in the lymph nodes.
  • Plasma proteins and some other micromolecules synthesized by liver enter the blood through lymph.
  • Fat is absorbed in the intestine by lymph as chylomicron
  • Some waste products are carried by it into blood.
  • It destroys the invading microorganisms and foreign particles in the lymph nodes.

Plasma vs Lymph
Cell free part of blood, contains salt, considerable amount of proteins as well as more or less all constituents of the body.
Modified tissue fluid, contains cells like lymphocytes and monocytes, salts and small amount of proteins.
Flows within blood vessels
Flows within lymphatic vessels
Can coagulate because it contains fibrinogen and prothrombin.
Can coagulate but very slowly because it contains these two in small quantities.
Function: Take part in nutrition, excretion, respiration etc. by transporting various materials and defence mechanism body by producing antibodies.
Function: Supplies nutrition to tissue devoid of blood supply, take part in fat absorption and defence mechanism of the body.
Learn more: Blood vs Lymph


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