The dielectric spectroscopy of human red blood cells during 37-day storage: β-dispersion parameterization

Marcelo David, Evgeniya Levy, Gregory Barshtein, Leonid Livshits, Dan Arbell, Paul Ben Ishai, Yuri Feldman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This study exploits dielectric spectroscopy to monitor the kinetics of red blood cells (RBC) storage lesions, focusing on those processes linked to cellular membrane interface known as β-dispersion. The dielectric response of RBC suspensions, exposed to blood-bank cold storage for 37 days, was studied using time-domain dielectric spectroscopy in the frequency range 500 kHz to 200 MHz. The measured dielectric processes are characterized by their dielectric strength (Δε) and their relaxation times (τ). Changes in the dielectric properties of the RBC suspensions, due to storage-related biophysical changes, were evaluated. For a quantitative characterization of RBC vitality, we characterized the shape of fresh and stored RBC and measured their deformability as expressed by their average elongation ratio, which was achieved under a shear stress of 3.0 Pa. During the second week of storage, an increment in the evolution of the relaxation times and in the dielectric permittivity strength of about 25% was observed. We propose that the characteristic increment of ATP, during the second and third weeks of storage, is responsible for the raise of the specific capacitance of cell membrane, which in turn explains the changes observed in the dielectric response when combined with the influence of the shape changes.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number183410
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Biomembranes
Issue number11
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by a grant from the Israel Science Foundation (to Yu Feldman and G Barshtein; 341/18 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.


  • Blood bank
  • Dielectric spectroscopy
  • Interfacial polarization
  • Red blood cells


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