Tube Formation Bioassay

Angiogenesis, a process of blood vessels formation, is at the foundation of the biological development. Angiogenesis plays a critical role in normal tissue repair and wound healing but also in tumor development and particularly in the process of dissemination and migration of metastasis. Endothelial cells cultured on matrigel and stimulated with growth factors undergo morphological changes and differentiation to form tubular capillaries1.

Therapeutic relevance
Many factors of the extracellular matrix affect the formation of angiogenesis, particularly vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), matrix metalloproteinases (MMP-1, MMP-2, MMP-9), angiopoietin-1 and 2 (Ang-1, Ang-2). Other factors that affect capillary formation include cytokines and chemokines like the growth-regulated oncogene-α (GRO-α), Monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1/CCL-2), interleukin -1β (IL-1β), tissue necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), thrombin and more2,3.

Bevacizumab (anti-VEGF) was the first anti-angiogenesis drug approved by FDA for colorectal cancer. Since then inhibition of angiogenesis became a target in many cancers including breast, prostate, ovarian, lung, glioma and more4-9. Other diseases that anti-angiogenesis and pro-angiogenesis therapeutics play important role include, arteriosclerosis, myocardial infarction, ulcer, limb ischemia, tissue ischemia, retinopathies and diabetes. In many of these disorders and diseases angiogenesis therapy addresses tissue repair to reverse or inhibit the disease progress10.

Therapeutic potential
Tube formation assay allows a rapid and accurate way to measure key steps of angiogenesis development: migration, invasion, proteases activity and tubular formation as an outcome of the tested stimulus, evaluating a positive or a negative effect of the tested reagents. Such platform is an important tool for screening drugs or compounds, targeting diseases where angiogenesis plays a critical role, like cancer and diabetes.

Tube Formation Bioassay currently offer by SBH Sciences
SBH Sciences is proud to enhance our Bioassay capabilities and offer 3D Tube formation Bioassay based on primary human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVEC).

The Bioassay can be used to scan and evaluate the effect of newly developing drugs, compounds and recombinant cytokines on the development and formation of capillary-like structures.

We can tailor the analysis according to the customer's specific needs: test different endothelial cells (primary or established cell lines) and evaluate release of biomarkers.

Currently, we offer the cytokine analysis of VEGFα, GROα and IP-10 by using the Tube Formation Assay.

Please contact us with your specific needs or any questions related to Tube Formation Bioassay.


untreated 1.25 µg/ml 2.5 µg/ml
Figure 1: HUVEC treated for 6 hours with human VEGF α, developed pronounced tube formation structures in comparison to the control untreated cells.

untreated 1.25 µg/ml 2.5 µg/ml 5 µg/ml
Figure 2: HUVEC treated for 6 hours with human GRO α, developed pronounced tube formation structures in comparison to the control untreated cells.

untreated 0.625 µg/ml 1.25 µg/ml 2.5 µg/ml 5 µg/ml
Figure 3: HUVEC treated for 24 hours with human IP-10, developed dose dependent pronounced tube formation structures in comparison to the control untreated cells.


1. Kubota Y et al. Role of laminin and basement membrane in the morphological differentiation of human endothelial cells into capillary-like structures. J Cell Biol. 1988 Oct;107(4):1589-98
2. Caunt M et al. Growth-regulated oncogene is pivotal in thrombin-induced angiogenesis. Cancer Res. 2006 Apr 15;66(8):4125-32
3. Jin W et al. Endothelial cells secrete triglyceride lipase and phospholipase activities in response to cytokines as a result of endothelial lipase. Circ Res. 2003 Apr 4;92(6):644-50
4. Shojaei F. Anti-angiogenesis therapy in cancer: current challenges and future perspectives. Cancer Let. 2012 Jul 28;320(2):130-7.
5. Carmeliet P, Jain RK. Angiogenesis in cancer and other diseases. Nature. 2000 Sep 14;407(6801):249-57
6. Rolfo C et al. BIBF 1120/ nintedanib : a new triple angiokinase inhibitor-directed therapy in patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2013 Jun 22
7. Mackey JR et al. Controlling angiogenesis in breast cancer: a systematic review of anti-angiogenic trials. Cancer Treat Rev. 2012 Oct;38(6):673-88
8. Wei XW, Zhang ZR, Wei YQ. Anti-angiogenic drugs currently in Phase II clinical trials for gynecological cancer treatment. Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 2013 Jun 20
9. Kast RE et al. A conceptually new treatment approach for relapsed glioblastoma: coordinated undermining of survival paths with nine repurposed drugs (CUSP9) by the International Initiative for Accelerated Improvement of Glioblastoma Care. Oncotarget. 2013 Apr;4(4):502-30
10. Tímár J et al. Angiogenesis-dependent diseases and angiogenesis therapy. Pathol Oncol Res. 2001;7(2):85-94

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Discovery Research Products & Services
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