Since the circulatory system lines the entire body, endothelial research is tied to many diseases, which are top-funded research areas. Endothelial cells have a remarkable capacity to adjust their number and arrangement to create an adaptable life-support system, extending by cell migration into almost every region of the body. If it were not for endothelial cells extending and remodeling the network of blood vessels, tissue growth and repair would be impossible. For this reason, dysfunction of endothelial cells has implications in diabetes, pulmonary diseases, inflammatory diseases, cardiovascular diseases and immune diseases to name a few. In addition, blocking angiogenesis has important applications in cancer. Cancerous tissue is as dependent on a blood supply as is normal tissue, and this has led to a surge of interest in endothelial cell biology. Studies are focused on understanding interactions between blood vessel formation and tumor expansion. Endothelial cells also have important applications in tissue engineering studies especially in the development of artificial vascular grafts as alternatives to donor-sourced grafts or supporting organ or tissue engineering with a vascular network.
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An Introduction to Primary Endothelial Cells