S1-5.7 Jan. 6 Endothelial Mechanotransduction: Let's Sugarcoat It! LEIDERMAN, K.M.*; MILLER, L.A.; FOGELSON, A.L.; University of Utah; University of Utah; University of Utah firstname.lastname@example.org
Endothelial cells line blood vessels in the body and are continuously exposed to blood flow, and thus, fluid mechanical forces such as shear stress. Variations in shear stress magnitude and distribution are known to affect many processes needed for proper vasoregulation. Such processes include, but are not limited to, permeability and hydraulic conductivity across vessel walls, gene and cell surface adhesion molecule expression, cytoskeletal rearrangement, and the release of vasodilators. The mechanism responsible for these changes is known as mechanotransduction and has three basic stages: stimulation of a mechanical sensor, transmission of stress through that sensor, and stress transduction which ultimately creates biochemical signals. The endothelial glycocalyx, a dense matrix of membrane-bound macromolecules, is thought to be an important mechanical sensor for endothelial cells. We would like to find the shear stress patterns in and around the glycocalyx to gain a better understanding of the mechanotransduction process. In order to do this, we must be able to calculate the flow through it. Since the exact structure of this layer is not well understood, we use mathematical models to explore the effect of different matrix permeabilities and Reynolds number regimes on flow through a porous matrix to find the resulting exerted fluid stresses. We built a low Reynolds number flow tank and physical models of possible glycocalyx structures to compare our computational results with flow measurements over a range of Reynolds numbers.