A central feature of intussusceptive angiogenesis is the development of an intravascular pillar that bridges the opposing sides of the microvessel lumen. In this report, we created polydimethyl siloxane (PDMS) microchannels with geometric proportions based on corrosion casts of the colon microcirculation. The structure of the PDMS microchannels was a bifurcated channel with an intraluminal pillar in the geometric center of the bifurcation. The effect of the intra-luminal pillar on particle flow paths was investigated using an in vitro perfusion system. The microchannels were perfused with fluorescent particles, and the particle movements were recorded using fluorescence videomicroscopy. We found that the presence of an intravascular pillar significantly decreased particle velocity in the bifurcation system (p<0.05). In addition, the pillar altered the trajectory of particles in the center line of the flow stream. The particle trajectory resulted in prolonged pillar contact as well as increased residence time within the bifurcation system (p<0.001). Our results suggest that the intravascular pillar not only provides a mechanism of increasing resistance to blood flow but may also participate in spatial redistribution of cells within the flow stream.
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Vol. 44 • No. 10