Neha Patil (Editor)

Body fluid

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit

Body fluid, bodily fluids or biofluids are liquids originating from inside the bodies of living people. They include fluids that are excreted or secreted from the body, and body water that normally is not.


The dominating content of body fluids is body water. Approximately 60-65% of body water is contained within the cells (in intracellular fluid) with the other 35-40% of body water contained outside the cells (in extracellular fluid). This fluid component outside the cells includes the fluid between the cells (interstitial fluid), lymph and blood. There are approximately 6 to 10 liters of lymph in the body, compared to 3.5 to 5 liters of blood.

List of body fluids

By type:

  • Intracellular fluid
  • Extracellular fluid
  • Intravascular fluid (blood plasma)
  • Interstitial fluid
  • Lymphatic fluid (sometimes included in interstitial fluid)
  • Transcellular fluid
  • In plants:

  • Plant exudates
  • Health

    Body fluid is the term most often used in medical and health contexts. Modern medical, public health, and personal hygiene practices treat body fluids as potentially unclean. This is because they can be vectors for infectious diseases, such as sexually transmitted diseases or blood-borne diseases. Universal precautions and safer sex practices try to avoid exchanges of body fluids. Body fluids can be analyzed in medical laboratory in order to find microbes, inflammation, cancers, etc.

    Clinical samples

    Clinical samples are generally defined as non-infectious human or animal materials including blood, saliva, excreta, body tissue and tissue fluids, and also FDA-approved pharmaceuticals that are blood products. In medical contexts, it is a specimen taken for diagnostic examination or evaluation, and for identification of disease or condition.


    Methods of sampling of body fluids include:

  • Blood sampling for any blood test, in turn including:
  • Arterial blood sampling, such as radial artery puncture
  • Venous blood sampling, also called venipuncture
  • Lumbar puncture to sample cerebrospinal fluid
  • Thoracocentesis to sample pleural fluid
  • Amniocentesis to sample amniotic fluid
  • Body fluids in art

    A relatively new trend in contemporary art is to use body fluids in art, though there have been rarer uses of blood (and perhaps feces) for quite some time, and Marcel Duchamp used semen decades ago. Examples include:

  • The controversial Piss Christ (1987), by Andres Serrano, which is a photograph of a crucifix submerged in urine;
  • In Janine Antoni's Conduit (2009) she created a copper cast gargoyle device that she could pee through on the top of the Chrysler Building, Antoni's urine acting as the patina.
  • Andy Warhol's Oxidations series, begun in 1977, in which he invited friends to urinate onto a canvas of metallic copper pigments, so that the uric acid would oxidize into abstract patterns;
  • Self (1991, recast 1996) by Marc Quinn, a frozen cast of the artist's head made entirely of his own blood;
  • Piss Flowers, by Helen Chadwick (1991–92), are twelve white-enameled bronzes cast from cavities made by urinating in snow (though this might not be characterized as the use of bodily fluids in art, just their use in preparation);
  • performances by Lennie Lee involving feces, blood, vomit from 1990
  • many paintings by Chris Ofili, which make use of elephant dung (from 1992).
  • Gilbert and George's The Naked Shit Pictures (1995)
  • Hermann Nitsch and Das Orgien Mysterien Theatre use urine, feces, blood and more in their ritual performances.
  • Franko B from 1990 blood letting performances.
  • The cover of the Metallica's album Load is an original artwork entitled "Semen and Blood III", one of three photographic studies by Andres Serrano created in 1990 by mingling the artist's own semen and bovine blood between two sheets of Plexiglas.
  • References

    Body fluid Wikipedia

    Similar Topics