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Tissue Eng. 2000 Apr;6(2):85-103.

Extracellular matrix cell adhesion peptides: functional applications in orthopedic materials.

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Laboratory of Extracellular Matrix and Cell Adhesion Research, Division of Life Sciences, The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio, Texas, USA.


This review describes research on selected peptide sequences that affect cell adhesion as it applies in orthopedic applications. Of particular interest are the integrin-binding RGD peptides and heparin-binding peptides. The influence of these peptides on cell adhesion is described. Cell adhesion is defined as a sequence of four steps: cell attachment, cell spreading, organization of an actin cytoskeleton, and formation of focal adhesions. RGD sequences clearly influence cell attachment and spreading, whereas heparin-binding sequences appear to be less efficient. Collectively, these sequences appear to promote all steps of cell adhesion in certain cell types. This review also addresses issues related to peptide immobilization, as well as potential complexities that may develop as a result of using these versatile cell-binding sequences. Also described are future directions in the field concerning use of existing and more sophisticated peptide substrata.

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