The induction of blood vessel growth as part of an adaptive process can be either exaggerated, such as in tumors, or too slow, as in ischemic diseases of heart and brain. Therefore it is an interesting target for medical intervention. This volume presents a thorough reconsideration of our current knowledge of factors and principles involved in angiogenic processes. It proceeds from a 'macroscopic ' perspective through cellular and physical mechanisms to the molecular level . In the first part, angiogenesis in physiological as well as pathological processes is described with a focus on embryogenesis, the reproductive system and the growing heart. The second part deals with cellular and physical mechanisms leading to angiogenesis, and the last part presents a deeper insight into molecular mechanisms of blood vessel growth, including knockout studies of essential angiogenic molecules, the identification of signaling steps in angiogenesis and the importance of cellular junctions.