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Vascularization for Regenerative Medicine – A Review

The promotion of blood vessel growth for therapeutic purposes remains a challenge both for the treatment of ischemia and the generation of functional tissue‐engineered grafts, as physiological angiogenesis represents an extraordinarily complex process. A deeper understanding of the mechanisms controlling vascular growth will provide the biological basis for the design of rational therapeutic approaches, and now, researchers led by Andrea Banfi (Basel University Hospital, Switzerland) overview some critical aspects of the biology of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and angiogenesis and discuss their therapeutic implications with a particular focus on approaches using gene therapy, genetically modified progenitors, and extracellular matrix engineering with recombinant factors. Additionally, Gianni‐Barrera and Di Maggio et al. present recent insights into the mechanisms that regulate vessel stabilization and the switch between normal and aberrant vascular growth after VEGF delivery to identify novel molecular targets that may improve both the safety and efficacy of therapeutic angiogenesis. See STEM CELLS Translational Medicine for more!