Modeling the early stages of vascular network assembly

Guido Serini, Davide Ambrosi, Enrico Giraudo, Andrea Gamba, Luigi Preziosi, Federico Bussolino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In vertebrates, networks of capillary vessels supply tissues with nutrients. Capillary patterns are closely mimicked by endothelial cells cultured on basement membrane proteins that allow single randomly dispersed cells to self-organize into vascular networks. Here we provide a model including chemoattraction as the fundamental mechanism for cell-to-cell communication in order to identify key parameters in the complexity of the formation of vascular patterns. By flanking biological experiments, theoretical insights and numerical simulations, we provide strong evidence that endothelial cell number and the range of activity of a chemoattractant factor regulate vascular network formation and size. We propose a mechanism linking the scale of formed endothelial structures to the range of cell-to-cell interaction mediated by the release of chemoattractants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1771-1779
Number of pages9
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Apr 15 2003


  • Endothelium
  • In vitro angiogenesis
  • Motility
  • Non-linear equation
  • Percolation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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