The Extracellular Matrix
The extracellular matrix plays an essential role in controlling tissue homeostasis and maintaining cell health.
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is the bioactive scaffold that provides structural and biochemical support to cells within human tissues and organs. The 3D network is comprised of approximately 300 proteins including collagen, glycoproteins and enzymes, known as the core matrisome.
As well as providing essential physical scaffolding for the cellular constituents, the ECM regulates crucial biochemical and biomechanical processes required for tissue morphogenesis, differentiation and homeostasis.
In view of these vital functionalities, we believe that to achieve meaningful results in target and drug discovery, it is crucial to incorporate the ECM into in vitro research models.
Adapted from Bonnans C. et al. Nature Reviews, 2014
As a dynamic structure, the ECM is constantly being remodelled. Changes in the composition and structure of the ECM, or genetic mutations that result in loss of control of its remodelling, can affect the phenotype of the associated cells and lead to fibrosis and cancer. The proteins that make up and regulate the remodelling of the ECM therefore represent promising therapeutic targets.
Our proprietary platform will enable preclinical and clinical studies to expose the full role of the ECM in human disease.