Angiogenesis is the formation of new blood vessels in the body. Blood vessels are critical for carrying nutrients, oxygen, and waste for organs, and angiogenesis around organs ensures sufficient function and circulation. Blood vessels also carry signaling molecules that promote the growth and maturation of organs. Angiogenesis can occur around tumors as well, facilitating cancer growth and possible metastasis.
New blood vessels can be cultured and tested for integrity and fluid flow capacity in three-dimensional microfluidic devices. When cultured along organs, the interactions and flow of compounds between developing blood vasculature and organs can be assessed. Microfluidic platforms can also investigate the role of angiogenesis in sustaining cancerous tumors or the pharmacological activity of pro-/anti-angiogenesis drugs.