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Matrix Biol. 2017 Jan;57-58:324-333. doi: 10.1016/j.matbio.2016.06.002. Epub 2016 Jun 6.

Synthetic hydrogels mimicking basement membrane matrices to promote cell-matrix interactions.

Author information

1
Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, United States; Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, United States.
2
George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, United States; Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, United States. Electronic address: andres.garcia@me.gatech.edu.

Abstract

Naturally-derived materials have been extensively used as 3D cellular matrices as their inherent bioactivity makes them suitable for the study of many cellular processes. Nevertheless, lot-to-lot variability, inability to decouple biochemical and biophysical properties and, in some types, their tumor-derived nature limits their translational potential and reliability. One innovative approach to overcome these limitations has focused on incorporating bioactivity into cytocompatible, synthetic hydrogels that present tunable physicochemical properties. This review provides an overview of successful approaches to convey basement membrane-like bioactivity into 3D artificial hydrogel matrices in order to recapitulate cellular responses to native matrices. Recent advances involving biofunctionalization of synthetic hydrogels via incorporation of bioactive motifs that promote cell-matrix interactions and cell-directed matrix degradation will be discussed. This review highlights how the tunable physicochemical properties of biofunctionalized synthetic hydrogel matrices can be exploited to study the separate contributions of biochemical and biophysical matrix properties to different cellular processes.

PMID:
27283894
PMCID:
PMC5140848
DOI:
10.1016/j.matbio.2016.06.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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