Theranostics 2022; 12(11):5015-5033. doi:10.7150/thno.74785 This issue


Therapeutic angiogenesis-based strategy for peripheral artery disease

Jingxuan Han1,2#, Lailiu Luo1,2#, Olivia Marcelina1,2#, Vivi Kasim1,2,3✉, Shourong Wu1,2,3✉

1. The Key Laboratory of Biorheological Science and Technology, Ministry of Education, College of Bioengineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044, China.
2. State and Local Joint Engineering Laboratory for Vascular Implants, Chongqing 400044, China.
3. The 111 Project Laboratory of Biomechanics and Tissue Repair, College of Bioengineering, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044, China.
#These authors contributed equally to this manuscript.

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( See for full terms and conditions.
Han J, Luo L, Marcelina O, Kasim V, Wu S. Therapeutic angiogenesis-based strategy for peripheral artery disease. Theranostics 2022; 12(11):5015-5033. doi:10.7150/thno.74785. Available from

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Graphic abstract

Peripheral artery disease (PAD) poses a great challenge to society, with a growing prevalence in the upcoming years. Patients in the severe stages of PAD are prone to amputation and death, leading to poor quality of life and a great socioeconomic burden. Furthermore, PAD is one of the major complications of diabetic patients, who have higher risk to develop critical limb ischemia, the most severe manifestation of PAD, and thus have a poor prognosis. Hence, there is an urgent need to develop an effective therapeutic strategy to treat this disease. Therapeutic angiogenesis has raised concerns for more than two decades as a potential strategy for treating PAD, especially in patients without option for surgery-based therapies. Since the discovery of gene-based therapy for therapeutic angiogenesis, several approaches have been developed, including cell-, protein-, and small molecule drug-based therapeutic strategies, some of which have progressed into the clinical trial phase. Despite its promising potential, efforts are still needed to improve the efficacy of this strategy, reduce its cost, and promote its worldwide application. In this review, we highlight the current progress of therapeutic angiogenesis and the issues that need to be overcome prior to its clinical application.

Keywords: therapeutic angiogenesis, peripheral artery disease (PAD), critical limb ischemia (CLI), vascular regeneration, angiogenesis factors