Laboratory Exercise: Blood Cells
Background: Blood is a connective tissue containing several types of cells in a fluid matrix. The cells include red
blood cells, white blood cells and cell fragments called platelets. RBC’s transport gases between body cells and
the lungs, WBC’s defend the body against infection, and platelets play an important role in blood clotting.
Certain diseases like anemia, affect the ability of the red blood cells to carry oxygen effectively. When
comparing human blood to that of a frog, significant structural differences are evident.
Objective: To view blood cells microscopically, review the characteristics of blood cells , to compare normal
blood cells to abnormal cells and make comparisons, and to compare and contrast human blood and frog blood.
Compound Light Microscope
Prepared Slides: Human Blood Smear, Acute Hemolytic Anemia, Sickle Cell Anemia, and Frog Blood
1. Obtain a microscope and a slide of the Human Blood Smear. Follow the correct microscope procedure to
focus the slide under the highest power and locate an area where you can see small pink stained cells
(RBC) and several purple stained cells (WBC). Have your teacher “sign off” your completion of this task.
Microscope Task: Focus Blood Cells under High Power: ________________________
2. Using your textbook as a guide, count how many of each type of WBC you can see in your field of view
and record the number of each type of cell you see. ESTIMATE the number of RBC’s in the field of view.
Cell Type Count Cell Type Count
Neutrophils _____ Eosinophils _____
Basophils _____ Lymphocytes _____
Monocytes _____ Erythrocytes _____
Describe the appearance of the formed elements you see under high power.
3. Obtain either an Acute Hemolytic Slide OR a Sickle Cell Anemia slide. Focus under high power. Compare
and contrast the appearance of the normal smear and the anemic smear.
4. Obtain a Frog Blood slide. Compare and contrast the appearance of the RBC’s and the WBC’s in frog
and human blood. Notice that frog RBC’s have a nucleus. Why do you think this difference exists in
human and amphibian blood?
5. Use your textbook or an online resource to help you make scale drawings of RBC’s, WBC’s and platelets.
(The length and width of each box below is 20 micrometers)
Monocytes Eosinophils Basophils