Directing angiogenesis is one of the overarching goals of biomedical research. Establishment of effective approaches to modulate angiogenesis will impact significantly treatment of many important diseases involving abnormal angiogenesis. We have uncovered a novel cue to direct endothelial behaviors and blood vessel growth - namely small direct current electric fields. Our long-term goal is to elucidate the role of electri signaling in regulating angiogenesis and to develop effective approaches to control angiogenesis. In this proposal, we specifically focus on establishment of stimulation strategies that are effective in guiding angiogenesis while safe with no or minimal harmful effects on cells and tissues.
Abnormal angiogenesis is a major pathological process in many diseases - such as cancer, arthritis, and chronic ischemia. Being able to direct and control new blood vessel formation will have significant implications in treatment of these devastating diseases. Developing from our recent exciting discovery that application of electric fields has dramatic effects in regulating endothelial cell behaviors, we aim at establishment of effective and optimal techniques to engineering angiogenesis through electric signaling.