Neuroscience

Helping damaged nerves to re-grow

Severed nerve tracts are very difficult to treat. If at all, the damage so far can only be repaired through complex operations. At the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, we have developed materials that stimulate ...

Medical research

Researchers deconstruct tissue repair

ETH researchers have deconstructed the mechanisms that control wound healing and scar formation in more detail. To this end, biologists and engineers have developed a new method that allows the biomechanical properties of ...

Medical research

Rejuvenated fibroblasts can recover the ability to contract

Fibroblasts are the most common connective tissue cells. They produce the structural framework for animal tissues, synthesise the extracellular matrix and collagen, and play a critical role in wound healing. However, during ...

Medical research

New platform for cancer diagnostics and drug testing

Parts of tumor tissue, which is normally discarded in cancer surgery, bear information about the disease. So far, as studies at the University of Gothenburg show, this has been unexploited. This research forms the basis for ...

Oncology & Cancer

Body's natural signal carriers can help melanoma spread

A new study from Finland sheds fresh light on how melanoma cells interact with other cells via extracellular vesicles they secrete. The researchers found that extracellular vesicles secreted by melanoma cells use the so-called ...

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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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