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Blood vessel growth, a process known as angiogenesis, is essential for normal tissue growth, development and repair. The formation of new blood vessels is a complex process that requires a strict balance between stimulatory and inhibitory signals. Dysregulation of angiogenesis causes many pathologies such as immune, inflammatory, ischemic, and malignant disease states. Common examples of diseases caused by excessive angiogenesis include cancer, psoriasis, arthritis and even obesity. While, insufficient blood vessel growth may result in neurodegeneration, ischemia, hypertension or osteoporosis.
Angiogenesis assays are used to test efficacy of both pro- and anti-angiogenic agents. Most studies of angiogenesis inducers and inhibitors rely on various models, both in vitro and in vivo.
Creative Bioarray provides a series of in vitro and in vivo angiogenesis assays to support companies and academic laboratories in the development of angiogenic or inhibitory compounds.
HUVECs Tube Formation Assay
Human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) tube formation assay is one of the simple, but well-established in vitro angiogenesis assays based on the ability of ECs to form three-dimensional capillary-like tubular structure, which represents the later stage of the angiogenic process. During the assay, HUVEC cells differentiate, directionally migrate to align, branch, and form the polygonal networks of blood vessels.
Rat Aortic Ring Assay
The three-dimensional in vitro aortic ring model recapitulates the complexities of angiogenesis combining the advantages of in vitro and in vivo models. The aortic rings are cultivated in a chemically defined culture environment. Microvessels grown in this system are lumenized vessels with surrounding supporting cells, which are almost indistinguishable from the microvessels formed during angiogenesis in vivo.
Corneal Angiogenesis Assay
Continuous monitoring of angiogenesis in vivo is required for the development and evaluation of drugs acting as suppressors or stimulators of angiogenesis. The corneal angiogenesis assay is carried out by placing an angiogenesis inducer into a microcapsule molded in the cornea stroma to induce blood vessel growth from the peripheral vasculature, which is a quantitative, reproducible, flexible assessment of angiogenesis in vivo. The major advantage of this assay is that the measurement of background vessels is unnecessary because the vessels grow on a physiologically avascular tissue.
Chick Chorioallantoic Membrane (CAM) Angiogenesis Assay
The CAM angiogenesis assay is performed by implanting a membrane or coverslip containing the compound of interest on the chick embryo chorioallantoic membrane through a hole cut in the egg shell. Subsequently, the CAM is fixed and the blood vessels are quantified by counting the number of blood vessel branch points.
Matrigel Plug Angiogenesis Assay
In the matrigel plug assay, an angiogenic stimulus (usually represented by recombinant growth factors or tumor cells) is introduced into cold liquid matrigel, following subcutaneous injection in mice, gelifies and allows the recruitment of a new microvascular network. The later immunohistochemistry (IHC) staining with the endothelial marker indicates the presence of the newly formed capillaries in the sectioned gel plugs.
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Cell Line Testing and Assays: