Mimicking the Extracellular Matrix: The Intersection of Matrix Biology and Biomaterials
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is the focus of much interest in biology and bioengineering. Increasing understanding of the influence of the ECM on cell behaviour has led to the exciting possibilities of tissue engineering. Aside from new therapeutic tools, understanding the ECM is of course fundamental to basic cell biology research.
Mimicking the Extracellular Matrix approaches this topic from both basic science and practical engineering perspectives. Seven topics are approached each in a pair of chapters, one with a biological approach and its partner with a bioengineering approach. Topics include the mechanical properties of the ECM, which outlines current knowledge of the ECM physical structure and reviewing state-of-the-art strategies to mimic its native microenvironments. The organisational characteristics of the ECM form the focus of another pair of chapters, where the collagen triple helix is discussed, followed by a review of advances in artificial reproduction of well-ordered systems using self-assembling peptides, or peptide amphiphiles.
The balanced approach of this text gives it a broad appeal to those interested in the ECM from a range of backgrounds and disciplines. Suitable for undergraduates, postgraduates, and academics, this text aims to unify the current knowledge of ECM biology and matrix-mimicking biomaterials.