serum albumin

serum albumin

noun
1.
Biochemistry. the principal protein of blood plasma, important in osmotic regulation of the blood and transport of metabolites.
2.
the commercial form of this substance, used in dye preparations, foodstuffs, and in medicine especially in the treatment of shock.

Origin:
1875–80

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Collins
World English Dictionary
serum albumin
 
n
See also albumin a form of albumin that is the most abundant protein constituent of blood plasma

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

serum albumin n.
See seralbumin.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

serum albumin

protein found in blood plasma that helps maintain the osmotic pressure between the blood vessels and tissues. Serum albumin accounts for 55 percent of the total protein in blood plasma. Circulating blood tends to force fluid out of the blood vessels and into the tissues, where it results in edema (swelling from excess fluid). The colloid nature of albumin-and, to a lesser extent, of other blood proteins called globulins-keeps the fluid within the blood vessels. Albumin also acts as a carrier for two materials necessary for the control of blood clotting: (1) antithrombin, which keeps the clotting enzyme thrombin from working unless needed, and (2) heparin cofactor, which is necessary for the anticlotting action of heparin. The serum albumin level falls and rises in such liver disorders as cirrhosis or hepatitis. Transfusions of serum albumin are used to combat shock and whenever it is necessary to remove excess fluid from the tissues. Similar albumin compounds with other functions occur in plants, animal tissues, egg whites, and milk.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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