A fully analytical approach to investigate the electro-viscous effect of the endothelial glycocalyx layer on the microvascular blood flow

Clin Chim Acta. 2017 Sep;472:5-12. doi: 10.1016/j.cca.2017.07.006. Epub 2017 Jul 8.


Background: Recently, the glycocalyx lining the endothelial surface has emerged as a structure of fundamental importance to a wide range of phenomena that has undeniable effect on cardiovascular health and disease. With respect to the blood flow in small vessels, it has been experimentally reported that the glycocalyx layer causes additional resistance to the flow.

Methods: The hypothesis of glycocalyx resistance against the blood flow, considered as two-phase layer fluid through a small blood vessel, was theoretically evaluated. To do that, a very thin electric double layer (EDL) was considered and the fluid flow was modeled by the well-known Poisson and Boltzmann equations in micro-fluidics alongside the general Navier-Stokes equation. Finally, a complete analytical solution for this particular case was developed.

Results: The results confirmed the previous findings indicated that the negatively charged glycocalyx layer has no effect on the macro/micro scale blood flow. Here and in the nano-scale, slightly influence was observed and reported in this study.

Conclusion: Moreover, more details about the thin electrically significant layer, close to the EDL, would be delineate to better recognition of electro-viscous effect caused by the endothelial glycocalyx near microvascular walls.

Keywords: Blood; Electric double layer; Endothelial glycocalyx layer; Microvascular; Non-Newtonian fluid.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Circulation*
  • Electricity*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / cytology*
  • Glycocalyx / metabolism*
  • Microvessels / physiology*
  • Models, Biological*
  • Viscosity