Medical research

Jigsaw-shaped peptide solves tissue regeneration puzzle

Recreating native physiological processes in manmade materials imitating the biological structures involved in wound healing has proved to be a lasting challenge. The main problems are modeling the appropriate functions that ...

Neuroscience

Learning and protecting itself: How the brain adapts

The brain is a remarkably complex and adaptable organ. However, adaptability decreases with age. As new connections between nerve cells in the brain form less easily, the brain's plasticity decreases. If there is an injury ...

Neuroscience

New scaffold design improves growth of regenerating neurons

Across the world, several million people every year suffer from spinal cord injury. These types of injuries break the communication links between the brain and body, reducing movement and sensation, and in the worst cases, ...

Oncology & Cancer

Prostate cancer organoids open path to precision oncology

A multi-institutional team of investigators led by bioengineer Ankur Singh has developed research tools that shed new light on a virtually untreatable form of prostate cancer, opening a pathway that may lead to novel therapeutics ...

Oncology & Cancer

Breaking down cancer's defenses with bacteria

Bacteria generally have a bad reputation, as people first think of certain strains that can cause serious illnesses like pneumonia or meningitis. However, there are many helpful bacteria, known as probiotics, that assist ...

Oncology & Cancer

Anti-cancer inhibitor could have dual effect

TG2, an enzyme known to help cancers spread more quickly, also plays a role in regulating T-cells, according to a Northwestern Medicine study published in the Journal for ImmunoTherapy of Cancer.

Medical research

Promising opportunities for treating skin fibrosis

Collagen, the main component of the skin's extracellular matrix, can cause a pathological condition if it is in excess. Applying an electric field to the skin affects collagen pathways, temporarily reducing collagen production ...

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Extracellular matrix

In biology, the extracellular matrix (ECM) is the extracellular part of animal tissue that usually provides structural support to the animal cells in addition to performing various other important functions. The extracellular matrix is the defining feature of connective tissue in animals.

Extracellular matrix includes the interstitial matrix and the basement membrane. Interstitial matrix is present between various animal cells (i.e., in the intercellular spaces). Gels of polysaccharides and fibrous proteins fill the interstitial space and act as a compression buffer against the stress placed on the ECM. Basement membranes are sheet-like depositions of ECM on which various epithelial cells rest.

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