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Biomacromolecules. 2011 Jan 10;12(1):242-6. doi: 10.1021/bm101220b. Epub 2010 Dec 3.

Biomimetic hydrogels with VEGF induce angiogenic processes in both hUVEC and hMEC.

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  • 1Physiology and Biophysics, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky 40292, United States.


Angiogenesis is the process by which new blood vessels arise from the pre-existing vasculature. Human endothelial cells are known to be involved in three key cellular processes during angiogenesis: increased cell proliferation, degradation of the extracellular matrix during cell migration, and the survival of apoptosis. The above processes depend upon the presence of growth factors, such as vascular endothelial growth factor isoform 165 (VEGF(165)) that is released from the extracellular matrix as it is being degraded or secreted from activated endothelial cells. Thus, the goal of the current study is to develop a system with a backbone of polyethylene glycol (PEG) and grafted angiogenic signals to compare the initial angiogenic response of human umbilical vein endothelial cells (hUVEC) or human microvascular endothelial cells (hMEC). Adhesion ligands (PEG-RGDS) for cell attachment and PEG-modified VEGF(165) (PEG-VEGF(165)) are grafted into the hydrogels to encourage the angiogenic response. Our data suggest that our biomimetic system is equally effective in stimulating proliferation, migration, and survival of apoptosis in hMEC as compared to the response to hUVEC.

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