We describe a novel stereologic technique to quantify the specific hydraulic conductivity, K, of extracellular matrix (ECM) directly from electron micrographs. This approach utilizes Darcy's law and Carmen-Kozeny theory to express K in terms of ECM porosity (s: ratio of void volume to total volume) and specific surface area (a: ratio of wetted surface area to total volume). A stereologic technique is developed to define s and of, and hence K, in terms of the measurable pore area and perimeter on a micrograph of known depth-of-field. Monte Carlo simulations of random polymer arrangements are performed to demonstrate the accuracy of the stereologic theory.
- Biological fluid dynamics
- Electron microscopy
- Extracellular matrix
- Specific hydraulic conductivity
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