, Volume 245, Issue 4, pp 185-190,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 20 Apr 2012

Changes in Surface-Charge Density of Blood Cells After Sudden Unexpected Death


The objective of the investigation was evaluation of postmortem changes of electric charge of human erythrocyte and thrombocyte membranes after sudden unexpected death. The surface charge density values were determined on the basis of the electrophoretic mobility measurements of the cells carried out at various pHs of electrolyte solution. The interactions between both erythrocyte and thrombocyte membranes and electrolyte ions were studied. Values of parameters characterizing the membrane—that is, the total surface concentrations of both acidic and basic groups and their association constants with solution ions—were calculated on the basis of a four-equilibria mathematical model. The model was validated by comparison of these values to experimental data. We established that examined electric properties of the cell membranes are affected by sudden unexpected death. Postmortem processes occurring in the cell membranes can lead to disorders of existing equilibria, which in turn result in changes in values of all the above-mentioned parameters.