In vitro angiogenesis assay for the study of cell-encapsulation therapy.

Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA.
Lab on a Chip (Impact Factor: 5.7). 06/2012; 12(16):2942-50. DOI: 10.1039/c2lc40182g
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Cell encapsulation within alginate beads has potential as a sustained release system for delivering therapeutic agents in vivo while protecting encapsulated cells from the immune system. There is, however, no in vitro model for cell-encapsulation therapy that provides a suitable platform for quantitative assessment of physiological responses to secreted factors. Here we introduce a new microfluidic system specifically designed to evaluate and quantify the pro-angiogenic potential of factors secreted from human fetal lung fibroblasts encapsulated in beads on an intact endothelial cell monolayer. We confirmed that cell-encapsulating beads induced an angiogenic response in vitro, demonstrated by a strong correlation between the encapsulated cell density in the beads and the length of the vascular lumen formed in vitro. Conditions established by in vitro tests were then further shown to exert a pro-angiogenic response in vivo using a subcutaneous mouse model, forming an extensive network of functional luminal structures perfused with red blood cells.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This paper presents in vitro microvascular network formation within 3D gel scaffolds made from different concentrations of type-I collagen, fibrin, or a mixture of collagen and fibrin, using a simple microfluidic platform. Initially, microvascular network formation of human umbilical vein endothelial cells was examined using live time-lapse confocal microscopy every 90 min from 3 h to 12 h after seeding within three different concentrations of collagen gel scaffolds. Among the three collagen gel concentrations, the number of skeletons was consistently the highest at 3.0 mg/mL, followed by those of collagen gel scaffolds at 2.5 mg/mL and 2.0 mg/mL. Results demonstrated that concentration of collagen gel scaffolds, which influences matrix stiffness and ligand density, may affect microvascular network formation during the early stages of vasculogenesis. In addition, the maturation of microvascular networks in monoculture under different gel compositions within gel scaffolds (2.5 mg/mL) was examined for 7 days using live confocal microscopy. It was confirmed that pure fibrin gel scaffolds are preferable to collagen gel or collagen/fibrin combinations, significantly reducing matrix retractions during maturation of microvascular networks for 7 days. Finally, early steps in the maturation process of microvascular networks for 14 days were characterized by demonstrating sequential steps of branching, expanding, remodeling, pruning, and clear delineation of lumens within fibrin gel scaffolds. Our findings demonstrate an in vitro model for generating mature microvascular networks within 3D microfluidic fibrin gel scaffolds (2.5 mg/mL), and furthermore suggest the importance of gel concentration and composition in promoting the maturation of microvascular networks.
    Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering 03/2014; · 1.44 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Capillary sprouting, a key step of neoangiogenesis in wound healing and tumor growth, also represents a therapeutic target for tissue repair. It requires crosstalk between endothelial cells (EC) and other cell types. We studied this process in a microfluidic platform that allows EC to migrate out of a channel across a collagen gel up a gradient of factors produced by a collection of encapsulated fibroblasts. Introduction of a prolyl hydroxylase inhibitor (PHi), ciclopirox olamine (CPX) to stabilize hypoxia inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) predominantly in fibroblasts induced capillary sprouting in EC, but the most complex tubular networks with true lumina formed after combining CPX with the lysophospholipid sphingosine 1-phosphate (S1P). The enhanced angiogenesis is a possible consequence of the generation of mutually stimulating factors as each cell type responded differently to the compounds. The combination of CPX and S1P induced secretion of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in fibroblast culture whereas the angiogenic monocyte chemoattractant protein (MCP)-1 was exclusively secreted by fibroblasts, but only in the presence of EC-conditioned medium. Antibody interference with fibroblast-produced VEGF and MCP-1 inhibited the sprouting response. These observations not only demonstrate the collaboration of EC and fibroblasts in inducing capillary sprouting but also suggest that the combination of CPX and S1P enhances angiogenesis and thus might be of therapeutic value for the pharmacological induction of tissue repair and regeneration.
    Integrative Biology 11/2013; · 4.32 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The cancer microenvironment may be conceptually regarded as a pitch where the main players are resident and non-resident cellular components, each covering a defined role and interconnected by a complex network of soluble mediators. The crosstalk between these cells and the tumor cells within this environment crucially determines the fate of tumor progression. Immune cells that infiltrate the tumor bed are transported there by blood circulation and exert a variety of effects, either counteracting or favoring tumor outgrowth. Here, we review and discuss the multiple populations composing the tumor bed, with special focus on immune cells subsets that positively or negatively dictate neoplastic progression. In this scenario, the contribution of cancer stem cells within the tumor microenvironment will also be discussed. Finally, we illustrate recent advances on new integrated approaches to investigate the tumor microenvironment in vitro.
    Frontiers in Oncology 01/2013; 3:90.