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J Cell Mol Med. 2009 Sep;13(9A):2864-74. doi: 10.1111/j.1582-4934.2008.00410.x. Epub 2008 Jun 28.

Evaluation of blood vessel ingrowth in fibrin gel subject to type and concentration of growth factors.

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Department of Plastic and Hand Surgery, University of Erlangen Medical Center, Erlangen, Germany.


Our aim was to quantitatively assess the angiogenetic effects of VEGF and bFGF immobilized in a fibrin-based drug delivery system in a suitable subcutaneous rat model. After evaluation of a suitable implantation technique (6 rats), four teflon isolation chambers containing fibrin gel matrices were implanted subcutaneously in an upside-down fashion on the back of 30 Lewis rats. The matrices consisted of 500 microl fibrin gel with two different fibrinogen concentrations (10 mg/ml or 40 mg/ml fibrinogen) and 2 I.U./ml thrombin and contained VEGF and bFGF in five different concentrations (0 to 250 ng/ml each). At 3, 7 and 14 days after implantation, matrices were explanted and subjected to histological and morphometrical analysis. At 1 week, the volume of the fibrin clots was significantly smaller in the 100 and 250 ng/ml VEGF and bFGF groups in comparison to lower concentrated growth factors. At 1 and 2 weeks, the use of growth factors in low concentrations (25 ng/ml VEGF and bFGF) significantly increased the amount of fibrovascular tissue, average fraction of blood vessels and number of blood vessels at the matrix-host interface in comparison to growth factor-free controls. Higher concentrations were neither associated with further increase of tissue formation nor with increased sprouting of blood vessels in this model. This study demonstrates that fibrin gel-immobilized angioinductive growth factors efficiently stimulate generation of fibrovascular tissue and sprouting of blood vessels in a newly developed subcutaneous upside-down isolation chamber model with an optimum between 25 and 100 ng/ml.

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