Development of an In Vitro Angiogenisis Assay Using Gelatin Microparticles for Controlled Release of Placental Extract

Date(s) - 06/26/2013
12:30 pm

Alice Cambiaghi- Masters Student

Tissue engineering aims to build tissues and organs from scratch in vitro in order to
transplant them into ill patients. However, this revolutionary alternative to transplantation is
subordinated to the lack of the formation of a suitable vasculature for the supply of oxygen
and nutrients to cells seeded in the transplanted graft. Accordingly, an effective method to
induce angiogenesis is in tissue-engineered constructs urgently needed.
To date, all the methods tried to promote vascularization in the engineered products
had unsatisfactory results. As a possible solution to this problem, our laboratory developed
a protocol to derive a pro-angiogenic extract from the human placenta, namely the
placental extract, which was shown to induce and modulate the initial stages of
In these study we analyze the angiogenic potential of the placental extract and its
bioactivity overtime. These investigations have shown that frequent administration of
placental extact promote the formation of a more mature and long lasting capillary
network. Therefore, gelatin microparticles for incorporation and controlled release of the
extract have been made. Finally, we developed a new angiogenesis assays consisting in
the incorporation of the gelatin microparticles, loaded in placental extract, in a collegen
type 1 gel seeded with endothelial cells. Although a lot of parameters required to be
optimized, there is evidence of initial phase of microvessels formation within the gel.