A comparison of methods for quantifying angiogenesis in the Matrigel assay in vitro

Tissue Eng Part C Methods. 2011 Sep;17(9):895-906. doi: 10.1089/ten.TEC.2011.0150. Epub 2011 Jun 8.


Angiogenesis is of major interest because of its involvement in numerous pathologies or for promoting tissue repair. It is often assessed by the ability of endothelial cells to sprout, migrate, and form vascular tubules in Matrigel in vitro. Matrigel contains a mixture of basement membrane components, which stimulate endothelial cells to form capillary-like hexagonal structures, and is often preferred over other in vitro assays because of its ease of use, rapidity and the ability to measure key steps in angiogenesis, including migration, protease activity, and tubule formation. Various methods have been used to quantitate tubule formation, yet no consensus has been reached regarding the best quantification method for evaluating the efficacy of angiogenic stimulants or inhibitors in this Matrigel assay. Here, we have measured the ability of umbilical cord blood endothelial colony-forming cell-derived cells to form tubules in growth factor reduced Matrigel in the presence or absence of two angiogenic inhibitors, suramin and SU6668, to compare the benefits and limitations of two quantification methods-Angiosys and Wimasis. These comparative analyses revealed that both Angiosys and Wimasis are easy to use, accurately quantify angiogenesis, and will suit the needs of different types of users.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors / pharmacology
  • Biological Assay / methods*
  • Collagen / metabolism*
  • Colony-Forming Units Assay
  • Drug Combinations
  • Endothelial Cells / cytology
  • Endothelial Cells / drug effects
  • Endothelium, Vascular / drug effects
  • Endothelium, Vascular / metabolism
  • Fetal Blood / cytology
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Indoles / pharmacology
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / pharmacology
  • Laminin / metabolism*
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic* / drug effects
  • Phenotype
  • Proteoglycans / metabolism*
  • Pyrroles / pharmacology
  • Software
  • Suramin / pharmacology


  • Angiogenesis Inhibitors
  • Drug Combinations
  • Indoles
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Laminin
  • Proteoglycans
  • Pyrroles
  • matrigel
  • Suramin
  • Collagen
  • orantinib