The movie shows the behaviour of human erythrocytes suspended in a percoll gradient and exposed to centrifugal force in the centrifuge polarizing microscope developed by S. Inoue. Here, the contrast is generated by differential interference contrast (DIC). Erythrocytes are distorted in shape in the centrifugal field, the hemoglobin collecting at the lower part of the cell causing it to bulge. The movie shows the additions of single cells to a stack of cells (rouleaux). Upon joining a rouleaux, the erythrocytes instantly recover their normal undistorted biconcave shape.
See: J F Hoffman and S Inoue (2006). Directly observed reversible shape changes and hemoglobin stratification during centrifugation of human and Amphiuma red blood cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 103:2971-2976.
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