Liquid part of blood (including dissolved chemicals but not the cells and platelets). This straw-coloured fluid serves as the blood's transport medium, helps maintain blood pressure, distributes body heat, and maintains the pH balance in the bloodstream and body. More than 90% consists of water, about 7% proteins, and the rest other substances, including waste products of metabolism. Important plasma proteins include albumin, coagulation factors, and globulins, including gamma globulin and a hormone that stimulates erythrocyte formation. Serum is the liquid part of the blood that remains after clotting.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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