Estimation of shear stress values along endothelial tip cells past the lumen of capillary sprouts

Nien Wen Hu, Camille D. Rodriguez, Julian A. Rey, Maximillian J. Rozenblum, Connor P. Courtney, Peter Balogh, Malisa Sarntinoranont, Walter L. Murfee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Shear stress is recognized as a regulator of angiogenesis. However, the shear stress experienced by the endothelial cells of capillary sprouts remains unknown. The objective of this study was to estimate shear stress due to local interstitial flow along endothelial tip cells at the end of the capillary sprout lumen. Computational fluid dynamics were used to model flow within a blind-ended vessel, transendothelial flow across the vessel wall, and flow within the surrounding perivascular/interstitial space. Shear stress along the wall of the tip cells was calculated while varying sprout length, perivascular space channel width, and vessel wall hydraulic conductivity. Increasing sprout length, increasing wall hydraulic conductivity, and decreasing perivascular space width increased shear stress magnitude. Wall shear stress magnitude within the lumen ranged from 0.015 to 0.55 dyne/cm2 at the sprout entrance and linearly decreased to near zero at the base of the tip cells. Tip cell wall shear stress magnitude due to interstitial flow ranged from 0.009 to 4.65 dyne/cm2. In 3 out of 8 cases, shear stress magnitude was above 1 dyne/cm2 and considered physiologically relevant. The results provide a framework for discussing the role of local mechanical cues in regulating endothelial cell dynamics involved in angiogenesis. Mainly, interstitial flows may generate physiologically relevant shear stresses on tip cells in certain scenarios. This source of tip cell shear stress has not been previously considered or modeled.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104360
JournalMicrovascular Research
StatePublished - Jul 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Cell Biology


  • Capillary sprout
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Endothelial cell
  • Perivascular space
  • Shear stress


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