Previously we have found that in addition to mechanical strain, an anchored boundary condition alone can alter the organization of microvessel outgrowth during in vitro angiogenesis [1]. Microvessels were found to align parallel to the long axis of the anchored gel construct after 6 days in vitro. However, unanchored cultures did not show alignment of microvessels. This ability to control the direction of angiogenesis has immense implications for engineering prevascularized grafts and tissues in vitro, therefore an understanding of this process is important. The goal of this study was to first determine whether or not the underlying collagen matrix aligns similar to microvessels, and second to determine the timing of this alignment.

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