The corneal micropocket assay: A model of angiogenesis in the mouse eye

Amy E. Birsner, Ofra Benny, Robert J. D'Amato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The mouse corneal micropocket assay is a robust and quantitativein vivoassay for evaluating angiogenesis. By using standardized slow-release pellets containing specific growth factors that trigger blood vessel growth throughout the naturally avascular cornea, angiogenesis can be measured and quantified. In this assay the angiogenic response is generated over the course of several days, depending on the type and dose of growth factor used. The induction of neovascularization is commonly triggered by either basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) or vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). By combining these growth factors with sucralfate and hydron (poly-HEMA (poly(2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate))) and casting the mixture into pellets, they can be surgically implanted in the mouse eye. These uniform pellets slowly-release the growth factors over five or six days (bFGF or VEGF respectively) enabling sufficient angiogenic response required for vessel area quantification using a slit lamp. This assay can be used for different applications, including the evaluation of angiogenic modulator drugs or treatments as well as comparison between different genetic backgrounds affecting angiogenesis. A skilled investigator after practicing this assay can implant apelletin less than 5 min per eye.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere51375
JournalJournal of Visualized Experiments
Issue number90
StatePublished - 16 Aug 2014


  • Angiogensis
  • Fibroblast growth factor
  • In vivo assay
  • Issue 90
  • Model
  • Neovasculatization
  • Neuroscience
  • Vascular endothelial growth factor


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