Tube-Forming Assays

  • Ryan M. Brown
  • Christopher J. Meah
  • Victoria L. Heath
  • Iain B. Styles
  • Roy BicknellEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1430)


Angiogenesis involves the generation of new blood vessels from the existing vasculature and is dependent on many growth factors and signaling events. In vivo angiogenesis is dynamic and complex, meaning assays are commonly utilized to explore specific targets for research into this area. Tube-forming assays offer an excellent overview of the molecular processes in angiogenesis. The Matrigel tube forming assay is a simple-to-implement but powerful tool for identifying biomolecules involved in angiogenesis. A detailed experimental protocol on the implementation of the assay is described in conjunction with an in-depth review of methods that can be applied to the analysis of the tube formation. In addition, an ImageJ plug-in is presented which allows automatic quantification of tube images reducing analysis times while removing user bias and subjectivity.

Key words

Angiogenesis Endothelial cell Matrigel Tube formation Sprouting ImageJ 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ryan M. Brown
    • 1
  • Christopher J. Meah
    • 2
  • Victoria L. Heath
    • 2
  • Iain B. Styles
    • 3
  • Roy Bicknell
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Centre for Doctoral Training in Physical Sciences of Imaging in the Biomedical Sciences and School of ChemistryUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK
  2. 2.School of Immunity and Infection and Cancer Studies, Institute of Biomedical Research, College of Medical and Dental SciencesUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK
  3. 3.School of Computer ScienceUniversity of BirminghamBirminghamUK

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