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Types of Angiogenesis Assays

Influence of inhibitors on tube formation over time. Please note the time dependence of a tube formation and take images at identical time points.
Fluorescence microscopy of one single strand composed of HUVEC cells. F-actin cytoskeleton stained green, and cell nuclei blue.

Tube Formation Assay

Cells seeded onto gel matrices can be used for monitoring their ability to form new vessels. A tube formation assay is performed by first seeding single cells, and then observing their characteristic patterns. Using ibidi’s µ-Slide Angiogenesis allows you to investigate angiogenesis in tube formation assays.

Some possible experimental endpoints are:

  • the angiogenic potential of substances
  • the effect of inhibitors or enhancers on tube formation assays
  • molecular mechanisms visualized by fluorescence microscopy
  • investigation of signal transduction or cytoskeletal effects

Sprouting Assay

To carry out a sprouting assay, either spheroids or pieces of tissue, such as from the aorta, need to be placed on the gel matrix. The sprouting assay, like the tube formation assay, needs a well-defined thickness of the gel layer underneath, which is available with the µ-Slide Angiogenesis.

It is, therefore, a great benefit to perform these assays using the µ-Slide Angiogenesis. In addition to reproducible cell culture conditions, all cells are also placed in one optical plane.


3D Cell Cultures

The “well in a well“ feature of the µ-Slide Angiogenesis also supports the microscopy of cells embedded in gel matrices. 3D cell cultures mimic in vivo conditions, such as those of cancer cells and hepatocytes. Also, non-adherent cells, such as blood cells or bacteria, can be immobilized for enhanced microscopy access.

The amounts of gel matrix and the medium volume are balanced to create a nutrient supply for 3D cell cultures that have low and medium cell densities.