Matrigel Plug Assay for In Vivo Evaluation of Angiogenesis

Methods Mol Biol. 2019:1952:219-232. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-9133-4_18.


Matrigel is extracted from the Engelbreth-Holm-Swarm (EHS) mouse sarcoma in C57BL/6 mice, a tumor rich in extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins. It consists mainly of laminin (approximately 60%), collagen IV (approximately 30%), and nidogen-1/entactin (approximately 8%), while it also contains heparan sulfate proteoglycans, such as perlecan, other ECM proteins, as well as growth factors bound to the ECM. Matrigel mimics the physiological cell matrix and is the most commonly used matrix substrate to study in vitro and in vivo angiogenesis. Here, we describe the in vivo Matrigel plug assay and how it can be used for both qualitative and quantitative assessment of angiogenesis.

Keywords: Angiogenesis; Endothelial cells; Matrigel; Matrigel plug; Vessels.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Separation / methods
  • Collagen / chemistry*
  • Drug Combinations
  • Endothelial Cells / cytology*
  • Flow Cytometry / methods
  • Laminin / chemistry*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / chemistry*
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence / methods
  • Microtomy / methods
  • Neovascularization, Physiologic*
  • Paraffin Embedding / methods
  • Proteoglycans / chemistry*
  • Staining and Labeling / methods


  • Drug Combinations
  • Laminin
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Proteoglycans
  • nidogen
  • matrigel
  • Collagen