Standard Article

Biophysics of Glomerular Filtration

  1. Scott C. Thomson,
  2. Roland C. Blantz

Published Online: 1 JUL 2012

DOI: 10.1002/cphy.c100089

Comprehensive Physiology

Comprehensive Physiology

How to Cite

Thomson, S. C. and Blantz, R. C. 2012. Biophysics of Glomerular Filtration. Comprehensive Physiology. 2:1671–1699.

Author Information

  1. University of California and VA San Diego Healthcare System, San Diego, California

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JUL 2012


Enlightened by William Bowman's depiction of the anatomy in 1842, Carl Ludwig immediately proposed glomerular filtration as a physical process. Nuances of this process have come to light in a rather orderly progression over the past 150 years with essential contributions from clearance methods, renal micropuncture, physical theories of nonequilibrium thermodynamics and electrical double layers, morphometry, and mathematics. Herein, we describe that progression of knowledge. Ongoing work pertains to the nature, location, and efficiency of the barrier to protein sieving, induction of endothelial fenestrae by growth factors from the podocyte, and potential resistance faced by filtrate exiting the subpodocyte space. Published 2012. Compr Physiol 2:1671-1699, 2012.