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Microvasc Res. 2014 Sep;95:60-7. doi: 10.1016/j.mvr.2014.06.009. Epub 2014 Jun 28.

Stretch-induced intussuceptive and sprouting angiogenesis in the chick chorioallantoic membrane.

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Laboratory of Adaptive and Regenerative Biology, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Kragujevac, Serbia.
Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA.
Institute of Functional and Clinical Anatomy, University Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz, Germany.
Molecular and Integrative Physiological Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.
Laboratory of Adaptive and Regenerative Biology, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA. Electronic address:


Vascular systems grow and remodel in response to not only metabolic needs, but also mechanical influences as well. Here, we investigated the influence of tissue-level mechanical forces on the patterning and structure of the chick chorioallantoic membrane (CAM) microcirculation. A dipole stretch field was applied to the CAM using custom computer-controlled servomotors. The topography of the stretch field was mapped using finite element models. After 3days of stretch, Sholl analysis of the CAM demonstrated a 7-fold increase in conducting vessel intersections within the stretch field (p<0.01). The morphometric analysis of intravital microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images demonstrated that the increase vessel density was a result of an increase in interbranch distance (p<0.01) and a decrease in bifurcation angles (p<0.01); there was no significant increase in conducting vessel number (p>0.05). In contrast, corrosion casting and SEM of the stretch field capillary meshwork demonstrated intense sprouting and intussusceptive angiogenesis. Both planar surface area (p<0.05) and pillar density (p<0.01) were significantly increased relative to control regions of the CAM. We conclude that a uniaxial stretch field stimulates the axial growth and realignment of conducting vessels as well as intussusceptive and sprouting angiogenesis within the gas exchange capillaries of the ex ovo CAM.


Chorioallantoic membrane; Fluorescence microscopy; Microcirculation; Micromechanics; Scanning electron microscopy; Sprouting and intussusceptive angiogenesis; Stretch

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