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Cell Culture Supplements for Generating Mature, Functional, Stabilized Blood Vessels In Vitro


The difficulty in generating complex functional blood vessels in vitro has been an important limitation to the adoption and application of complex cell based models for functional screening and drug discovery. While the formation of endothelial tubes is well known within the academic literature, the ability to generate integrated vessels that contain vascular endothelial cells, associated smooth muscle cells, and demonstrate vasoreactivity has been elusive. Similarly, the generation of stable, secure and invested blood vessels has been a challenge for tissue engineers, 2D and 3D cell based assay developers, and those considering regenerative medicine strategies employing stem and progenitor cells seeding within biomaterials. The ability to develop a system for self-assembling relevant cell types into stable, reactive blood vessels in vitro would allow for the discovery of factors affecting vasculogenesis and subsequent angiogenesis as well as screen compounds for their ability to affect such processes.

Description of the Invention:

A leading cardiovascular scientist at the Robarts Research Institute has identified a novel combination of growth factors that may serve as a basis for promoting blood vessel formation in vitro as well as promoting the investment of those vessels with smooth muscle cells. The formation of complex blood vessels has been demonstrated in 2D models and the establishment of reactive vessels evaluated in 3D models. The growth factor combination provides a strong method of supporting either vasculogenesis or angiogenesis in culture. Together this may provide a foundation for the generation of simple or complex tissue equivalent models for the screening of angiogenic compounds or potential side effects of compounds on blood vessel structure and activity.

Potential Advantages:

• Technology based upon developmental processes associated with vasculogenesis
• Growth factor system specific to stabilization of vessels

Potential Applications:

• Generation of angiogenesis and vasculogenesis model systems
• Reactive vessels allow for functional screening
• In vitro assay for therapeutic factor screening.

Patent Information:


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