Angiogenesis is the mechanism by which new capillary blood vessels grow. It is an important natural process for healing and reproduction. Angiogenesis is controlled by a precise balance of growth and inhibitory factors. When this balance is disturbed, the result is either too much or too little blood vessel growth. Abnormal angiogenesis has been implicated as an underlying mechanism for numerous disease conditions, including cancer, skin disease, age-related blindness, diabetic ulcers, cardiovascular disease, and others.
All cancerous tumors, for example, release angiogenic growth factors that stimulate blood vessels to grow into the tumor, providing it with oxygen and nutrients. Antiangiogenic therapies literally starve the tumor of its blood supply by interfering with this process. On the other hand, therapeutic angiogenesis stimulates blood vessel growth where it is lacking. This technique is used to replenish the blood supply to chronic wounds and can be used to prevent unnecessary amputations. Both approaches hold significant promise as a way to treat many debilitating disease conditions.
As a result, there is significant interest among researchers to understand the molecules and signaling pathways involved in angiogenesis, both from the perspective of understanding how things work under normal conditions as well as exactly what goes wrong under abnormal (e.g., disease) conditions.
As the leader in cellular imaging, Molecular Devices can help support the success of your angiogenesis research efforts by delivering industry-leading drug development, life science research, and bioanalytical instruments and software for microscopy and high-content analysis. Please select among the links below to learn more.