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Ann Biomed Eng. 2015 Mar;43(3):568-76. doi: 10.1007/s10439-014-1167-5. Epub 2014 Oct 25.

Extracellular matrix as a driver for lung regeneration.

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Department of Pathology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, 06520, USA.


Extracellular matrix has manifold roles in tissue mechanics, guidance of cellular behavior, developmental biology, and regenerative medicine. Over the past several decades, various pre-clinical and clinical studies have shown that many connective tissues may be replaced and/or regenerated using suitable extracellular matrix scaffolds. More recently, decellularization of lung tissue has shown that gentle removal of cells can leave behind a "footprint" within the matrix that may guide cellular adhesion, differentiation and homing following cellular repopulation. Fundamental issues like understanding matrix composition and micro-mechanics remain difficult to tackle, largely because of a lack of available assays and tools for systematically characterizing intact matrix from tissues and organs. This review will critically examine the role of engineered and native extracellular matrix in tissue and lung regeneration, and provide insights into directions for future research and translation.

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