Purpose: To be able to screen and identify potential candidate agents for noninvasive imaging of diseases involving angiogenesis, a standardized in vivo angiogenesis model is needed. Angiogenesis is a common feature of many pathological conditions and has become an important target for diagnosis and treatment, with many noninvasive imaging agents emerging.
Materials and methods: Uniform scaffolds consisting of porous and flexible polycaprolactone were implanted subcutaneously in mice and studied after 1 to 6 weeks to describe the time course of angiogenesis. The model was characterized by histology and dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI).
Results: Microscopic examination revealed progressive ingrowth of new vessels from the periphery, leading to a fully vascularized scaffold within 6 weeks. Blood flow through the new vessels, assessed by DCE-MRI, revealed peripheral vascularization corresponding to 12.3% (SD 6.1%) of scaffold area at week 1 and a more uniform and complete distribution of vessels corresponding to 84.1% (SD 16.2%) of scaffold area at week 4.
Conclusion: In agreement with microscopic examination, noninvasive DCE-MRI visualized progressive development of new vessels in a novel and standardized murine angiogenesis model, making this model suitable for screening angiogenesis-related drugs and contrast agents.
Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.