The endothelial glycocalyx is believed to play a crucial role in many endothelial functions, including mechanotransduction [1,2], modulation of vascular permeability, and interaction with blood components [3]. A principal constituent of the glycocalyx, thought to sense shearing forces and convey this signal into the cell, is the glycosaminoglycan heparan sulfate (HS). Previous in vitro studies have shown that batch removal of 60% of the heparan sulfate within the glycocalyx inhibits the steady shear-induced production of nitric oxide [4], cell alignment, cell migration, suppression of cell proliferation, and accumulation of vascular endothelial cadherin in cell-cell junctions [5].

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