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Mechanical Property Tunable dECM and Their Regenerative Applications

The extracellular matrix (ECM) provides both structural support and biochemical and biophysical cues through a complex and highly-organized conglomerate of macromolecules. Such roles have led to interest in harnessing ECM for various regenerative applications. To capture the full potential of ECM, the various biophysical and biochemical cues of ECM must be fully defined and decoded. Frequently used platforms employ coatings of a single ECM protein on synthetic substrates. While such platforms have undeniably led to advancements in the field it is important to recognize that they are based on a reductionist approach in that the natural microenvironment is resolved into a single variable (e.g. stiffness, roughness, topography, etc.). In this chapter, organ, tissue, and cell-derived ECM – collectively called decellularized ECM (dECM) –are taken comprehensively, in which an entire spectrum of biophysical variables are integrated into one platform. Given that stiffness plays a large role in determining biological responses, we assess different chemical, biological, and physical methods to modulate the stiffness, and subsequently the global biophysical profile, of dECM. We also examine the use of such stiffness-tuned dECM platforms for various regenerative applications. Ultimately, the use of stiffness-tuned dECM should provide valuable information parallel to that obtained through traditional means such as synthetic substrates.

Publication details

Print publication date
11 Dec 2019
Copyright year
Print ISBN
ePub eISBN
From the book series:
Biomaterials Science Series