Therapeutic angiogenesis is a promising approach to treat patients with cardiovascular disease, and will likely be critical to engineering large tissues. Many growth factors have been found to play significant roles in angiogenesis, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) are the most extensively investigated angiogenic factors to date. However, the appropriate dose to obtain a desired response and the effectiveness of each factor, relative to the other, in promoting angiogenesis at a specific site in the body remains unclear. We have used alginate hydrogels as localized delivery vehicles for VEGF and bFGF, and compared the ability of these factors to promote new blood vessel formation in the subcutaneous tissue of severe combined immunodeficient (SCID) mice. We have found that the thickness of a granulation tissue layer formed around the gel and the number of blood vessels in the layer increased with the dose of VEGF in the gel, but the density of new blood vessels remained relatively constant. Sustained and localized delivery of bFGF from the gels, while similarly leading to an increase in the density of blood vessels in the granulation tissue, did not lead to as high of a blood vessel density as VEGF. The results of this study support previous studies demonstrating the utility of both VEGF and bFGF in promoting angiogenesis, and suggest VEGF is more appropriate for creating a dense bed of new blood vessels in this model.
Last updated on 09/29/2017
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