Circulating progenitor cells home to and engraft to sites of ischemia, mediated in part by the adhesion molecule L-selectin; however, accumulation in tissues such as the heart is low. In this study, an acellular collagen-based matrix containing sialyl Lewis(X) (sLe(X)), which binds L-selectin, was developed in order to enhance the endogenous progenitor cell therapeutic response. Its effect on progenitor cells and angiogenesis were assessed in vitro and using a hindlimb ischemia model with rats. In culture, the sLe(X)-collagen matrix recruited more CD133(+)CD34(+)L-selectin(+) cells than collagen-only matrix, with adhesion mediated by L-selectin binding. Increased angiogenic/chemotactic cytokine production and improved resistance to apoptosis appeared in cells cultured on sLe(X)-collagen matrix. In vivo, mobilization of endogenous circulating progenitor cells was increased, and greater recruitment of these and systemically injected human peripheral blood CXCR4(+)L-selectin(+) cells to sLe(X)-collagen treated limbs was observed compared to collagen-only. This condition was associated with differences in angiogenic/chemotactic cytokine levels, with greater arteriole density and increased perfusion in sLe(X)-collagen treated hindlimbs. With these factors taken together, we demonstrated that an acellular matrix-bound ligand approach can enhance the mobilization, recruitment, and therapeutic effects of endogenous and/or transplanted progenitor cells, possibly through paracrine and antiapoptotic mechanisms, and could be used to improve cell-based regenerative therapies.