Computer-assisted analysis of in-vitro vasculogenesis and angiogenesis processes

Fabrizio Lamberti
Politecnico di Torino
Dipartimento di Automatica ed Informatica
I-10129, Torino



In recent years many experimental investigations have been carried out on vasculogenesis and angiogenesis, the mechanisms of blood vessels formation. Neovascularization is a hallmark of embryogenesis and many other physiological processes, such as wound healing or endometrium vascularization during the mestrual cycle. Angiogenesis also plays a key role in tumor growth, tumor metastasis and other pathological processes including many inflammatory diseases. Understanding biological phenomena regulating angiogenesis is therefore essential for clinical treatment of cancer and other angiogenesis-dependent diseases. This paper describes the development of a fully-automated computerized angiogenesis analysis system, which enables angiogenesis parameters to be quantified in an in-vitro model. The proposed methodology works on phase contrast microscopy snap photographs of cultured endothelial cell plates, and extracts a detailed graph-based representation of the blood vessels network thus supporting accurate angiogenesis parameters measurement.