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Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering
SJR: 0.207 SNIP: 0.376 CiteScore™: 0.79

ISSN Print: 0278-940X
ISSN Online: 1943-619X

Critical Reviews™ in Biomedical Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevBiomedEng.2013008077
pages 91-123

Manipulating the Microvasculature and Its Microenvironment

Laxminarayanan Krishnan
Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience, Georgia Institute of Technology; 315 Ferst Dr. NW, Atlanta, GA 30332
Carlos C. Chang
Cardiovascular Innovation Institute, Louisville, KY
Sara S. Nunes
University Health Network, Toronto General Research Institute, Ontario, Canada; Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Heart & Stroke/Richard Lewar Centre of Excellence, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Stuart K. Williams
Cardiovascular Innovation Institute, Louisville, KY
Jeffrey A. Weiss
Department of Bioengineering, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112
James B. Hoying
Cardiovascular Innovation Institute, Louisville, KY


The microvasculature is a dynamic cellular system necessary for tissue health and function. Therapeutic strategies that target the microvasculature are expanding and evolving, including those promoting angiogenesis and microvascular expansion. When considering how to manipulate angiogenesis, either as part of a tissue construction approach or a therapy to improve tissue blood flow, it is important to know the microenvironmental factors that regulate and direct neovessel sprouting and growth. Much is known concerning both diffusible and matrix-bound angiogenic factors, which stimulate and guide angiogenic activity. How the other aspects of the extravascular microenvironment, including tissue biomechanics and structure, influence new vessel formation is less well known. Recent research, however, is providing new insights into these mechanisms and demonstrating that the extent and character of angiogenesis (and the resulting new microcirculation) is significantly affected. These observations and the resulting implications with respect to tissue construction and microvascular therapy are addressed.

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