The microcirculation is responsible for the transfer of oxygen from the red blood cells in the capillaries to the cells to meet cellular energy requirements, support functional activity and remove carbon dioxide and waste. The microcirculation also assists in the regulation of vascular tone, solute exchange, the production of hormones, the inflammatory response and haemostasis. The identification of the endothelial glycocalyx and the assessment of the effects of disease, drugs and fluids on the microcirculation is the subject of ongoing research.
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