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Endothelial cells are capable of differentiating in vitro to form capillary-like structures (also referred to as tubes). Cross section analyses of tubes formed in extracellular matrices such as laminin, collagen, fibrin, and BD Matrigel™ Matrix revealed the presence of a lumen surrounded by cells. When BD Matrigel™ Matrix is used to promote endothelial cell tube formation, the lumen forming cells interact with each other via interdigitating junctional complexes. This property is indicative of in vivo-like capillary formation. Since BD Matrigel™ Matrix has been found to induce endothelial cell tubulogenesis and lumen formation in a timeframe of 18 hours, this matrix is suitable for high throughput assays that target this critical angiogenesis pathway.
The BD BioCoat™ Angiogenesis System: Endothelial Cell Tube Formation is an in-vitro assay system composed of a BD Falcon™ 96 well black plate with clear bottom uniformly coated with BD Matrigel Matrix. To ensure reproducibility when using this assay system, different preparations of BD Matrigel Matrix are screened for the ability to promote optimal tube formation under standardized conditions. In addition to the coating material, the manufacturing process has been optimized to the highest standards. Assay performance is further enhanced by the inclusion of our specially treated 96 well microplate, which has specific surface properties that assure even coating and minimize meniscus formation.
The 96 well format allows for increased productivity in this traditionally low throughput assay. Throughput can be further augmented through the use of automated imaging instrumentation to obtain optimal microscopic images for rapid quantification of tube formation. A number of human endothelial cell types have been shown to form tubes in the BD BioCoat™ Angiogenesis System: Endothelial Cell Tube Formation.
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