The vitality of red blood cells depends on the process control of glucose homeostasis, including the membrane's ability to "switch off" d-glucose uptake at the physiologically specific concentration of 10-12 mM. We present a comprehensive study of human erythrocytes suspended in buffer solutions with varying concentrations of d-glucose at room temperature, using microwave dielectric spectroscopy (0.5 GHz-50 GHz) and cell deformability characterization (the Elongation ratio). By use of mixture formulas the contribution of the cytoplasm to the dielectric spectra was isolated. It reveals a strong dependence on the concentration of buffer d-glucose. Tellingly, the concentration 10-12 mM is revealed as a critical point in the behavior. The dielectric response of cytoplasm depends on dipole-matrix interactions between water structures and moieties, like ATP, produced during glycolysis. Subsequently, it is a marker of cellular health. One would hope that this mechanism could provide a new vista on noninvasive glucose monitoring.
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© 2016 American Chemical Society.