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Dorsal Skin Flap Model

Many new cancer therapeutics are specifically designed to target tumour vasculature. Axis Bioservices can offer a variety of assays to measure the efficacy of your anti-angiogenic agent. These include in vitro cell migration and tube formation assays, in vivo matrigel plug assay and the dorsal skin flap or 'window chamber' assay.


The window chamber assay involves implanting a small fragment of tumour tissue into a titanium or MRI-compatible chamber that is attached to the rear dorsum of a nude or SCID mouse. Tumour vasculature can be visualised at various stages of treatment by injecting a fluorescent dye into the tail vein. Both short-term (24h) and long-term (up to 28 days) studies can be accommodated.


We can measure a number of vascular characteristics; these include vessel diameter, vessel length, number of branch points and area covered by vessels. These parameters can all be used to quantify the effect of your novel agent on tumour vasculature.


The dorsal skin flap assay can be used as a stand-alone assay or can be incorporated into a programme of work aimed at measuring angiogenic response. See our specialist packages for more information on our angiogenesis assays. Prices start from £500 per mouse for a 14 day treatment protocol with vascular measurements taken 4 times during that period.


References where we have used the dorsal skin flap assay:


  1. Yakkundi et al. The Anti-Migratory Effects of FKBPL and Its Peptide Derivative, AD-01: Regulation of CD44 and the Cytoskeletal Pathway. PLOS One (2013) 8; 1-11.
  2. Ming et al. Androgen deprivation results in time-dependent hypoxia in LNCaP prostate tumours: informed scheduling of the bioreductive drug AQ4N improves treatment response. Int J Can (2013) 132; 1323-32.
  3. Valentine et al. FKBPL and Peptide Derivatives: Novel Biological Agents That Inhibit Angiogenesis by a CD44-Dependent Mechanism. Clin Can Res (2011) 17; 1044-56.
  4. O'Rourke et al. Evaluation of the antiangiogenic potential of AQ4N. Clin Can Res (2008) 14; 1502-9.
  5. Wilson et al. Dexamethasone potentiates the antiangiogenic activity of docetaxel in castration-resistant prostate cancer. Br J Cancer (2008) 99; 2054-64.