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    Understanding and calculating dilution factors (DF)

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    Understanding dilution factors

    Question: A courier has just delivered a 2.0 mL sample of serum to your laboratory for analysis. In your analysis, you will combine a 0.05 mL aliquot of the serum with 9.95 mL of phosphate buffered saline diluent. Calculate the dilution factor.

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    Solution Preview

    Before answering the question, let's define some terminology.
    - Aliquot = a measured sup-portion (or sub-volume) of an original sample or solution
    - Diluent = a material (in this case, phosphate buffered saline, also referred to as "PBS") that is used to dilute a sample
    - Dilution factor (DF) = a ratio of the final volume to the aliquot volume

    Next, let's look at the information provided in the question:
    - Volume of blood = 2.0 mL
    - Aliquot size = 0.05 mL
    - Diluent volume = 9.95 ...

    Solution Summary

    A question and solution to help students understand and calculate dilution factors for chemistry, biochemistry, biology, or biomedical applications.