The hematopoietic system is a collection of organs and tissues that produce the cellular components of blood. These cells of the blood come from stem cells, called hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). They differentiate in the marrow of your pelvis and other large bones to keep a steady supply of cells in your blood. While most people are familiar with red blood cells (RBCs), did you know that blood is also full of immune system cells and repair cells? And it’s not all science and medicine either, these cells are even used in the beauty industry!
Leukocytes or White Blood Cells
While there is only one type of red blood cell, there are five different types of white blood cell. Unlike RBCs, these cells have a nucleus, contain DNA, and aren’t just empty oxygen-transporting vessels. You’ve probably heard of lymphocytes, these are the T and B cells of your adaptive immune system that help destroy infected cells, recognize foreign invaders, and build immunological memory. And in case you’re wondering, immunological memory is the ability of the immune system to remember previous attacks by the same pathogen.
The other branch of the immune system, the innate immune system, doesn’t have memory, but it does have its own set of white blood cells. Neutrophils, eosinophils, basophils, and macrophages/monocytes act like sentries, riding along the currents in your blood vessels, eating and destroying things that don’t belong. Many of them produce chemicals such as histamines that cause inflammation, runny nose, itchy and watery eyes, hives, and other unpleasant symptoms.
They’re popular with fancy doctors, Kim Kardashian posted a picture of the procedure on her social media, and even men are using vampire “facials” to help with hair loss. There are no blood sucking creatures involved in the vampire facial or the Platelet Rich Plasma facial, also known as the PRP facial. But there is, however, a phlebotomist that draws your blood, spins it out, and collects the platelet rich plasma portion of it.
Platelets are cells in the blood that help with blood clotting and wound healing (read: promoting collagen growth). By injecting (microneedling) this platelet rich plasma into your face or your scalp, the skin in that area gets a little boost from the growth-stimulating plasma cells. Since hair follicles are also affected, men who find themselves with receding hairlines or thinning patches can use PRP facials to slow down and even reverse hair loss. No need for plugs or expensive surgical procedures, just a bit of your own cells!
Cells of the Blood for Everyone!
Adorn yourself with cells in your blood without scaring the daylights out of the people around you! Our online store has the macrophages, neutrophils, monocytes, and red blood cells that you’ve always wanted. Mix and match them or pair them with our heart necklace, pelvis necklace, or femur earrings. Purchase them for yourself or for a friend. They also make a great gift for a variety of science-loving people, such as immunologists, phlebotomists, hematologists, and starry-eyed pre-med students.
written by Science with Evie