An Electrodiffusion-Filtration Model for Effects of Endothelial Surface Glycocalyx on Microvessel Permeability to Macromolecules

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Endothelial surface glycocalyx plays an important role in the regulation of microvessel permeability by possibly changing its charge and configuration. To investigate the mechanisms by which surface properties of the endothelial cells control the changes in microvessel permeability, we extended the electrodiffusion model developed by Fu et al. [Am. J. Physiol. 284, H1240-1250 (2003)], which is for the interendothelial cleft with a negatively charged surface glycocalyx layer, to include the filtration due to hydrostatic and oncotic pressures across the microvessel wall as well as the electrical potential across the glycocalyx layer On the basis of the hypotheses proposed by Curry [Microcirculation 1(1): 11-26 (1994)], the predictions from this electrodiffusion-filtration model provide a good agreement with experimental data for permeability of negatively charged a-lactalbumin summarized in Curry [Microcirculation 1(1), 11-26 (1994)] under various conditions. In addition, we applied this new model to describe the transport of negatively charged macromolecules, bovine serum albumin (BSA), across venular microvessels in frog mesentery. According to the model, the convective component of the albumin transport is greatly diminished by the presence of a negatively charged glycocalyx under both normal and increased permeability conditions.


Cell membranes; Cell membranes – Electric properties; Cells – Permeability; Endothelial cells; Water


Biomedical | Cell Anatomy | Cell Biology | Engineering | Mechanical Engineering


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