Conference, Rui Travasso, University of Coimbra
June, 29, 10:00-12:00h. Sala Juntas Industriales, Ciudad Real
Angiogenesis - the growth of new blood vessels from a pre-existing vasculature - is key in both physiological processes and on several pathological scenarios such as cancer progression or diabetic retinopathy. For the new vascular networks to be functional, it is required that the growing sprouts merge either with an existing functional mature vessel or with another growing sprout. This process is called anastomosis. I will present a systematic 2D and 3D study of vessel growth in a tissue to address the capability of angiogenic factor gradients to drive anastomose formation. We consider that these growth factors are produced only by tissue cells in hypoxia, i.e. until nearby vessels merge and become capable of carrying blood and irrigating their vicinity. I will demonstrate that this increased production of angiogenic factors by hypoxic cells is able to promote vessel anastomoses events in both 2D and 3D. We also verify that the morphology of these networks has an increased resilience toward variations in the endothelial cell’s proliferation and chemotactic response. The distribution of tissue cells and the concentration of the growth factors they produce are the major factors in determining the final morphology of the network.