Previous studies of extracellular matrix hydraulic conductivity have characterized the flow resistance of glycosaminoglycans, proteoglycans and collagen. This work focusses on serum albumin, present in significant quantities in many connective tissues, but not previously considered for its role in determining connective tissue flow resistance. The specific hydraulic conductivity of bovine serum albumin solutions, as a function of concentration, was calculated from sedimentation and ultrafiltration data available in the literature. A rigid particle hydrodynamic model compared favorably with these results. Experimental measurements on an albumin ultrafiltration cell were in agreement with this model (within experimental error); furthermore, the experimental data confirmed the theoretical prediction that there is no (or negligible) pressure drop through the concentration polarization layer. Use of the hydrodynamic model for albumin specific hydraulic conductivity with literature values for the hindrance of albumin when passing through a glycosaminoglycan (GAG) matrix allows an estimate of the relative importance of the albumin on tissue hydraulic conductivity: in non-cartilagineous tissues with moderate GAG concentrations, tissue levels of albumin can generate flow resistance effects comparable to those of the GAGs, although well less than the flow resistance of these tissues.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)