Volume 2.06 | Feb 17

     In this issue: Science News | Current Publications | Industry News | Policy News | Events
Engineering Spatial Control of Multiple Differentiation Fates Within a Stem Cell Population
Researchers previously developed an inkjet-based bioprinter to create patterns of solid-phase growth factors immobilized to an extracellular matrix substrate, and applied this approach to drive muscle-derived stem cells toward osteoblasts ‘on-pattern’ and myocytes ‘off-pattern’ simultaneously. Here this technology is extended to spatially control osteoblast, tenocyte and myocyte differentiation simultaneously. [Biomaterials]


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Living in the Matrix: Sugar Residues Regulate Growth and Survival of Nerve Cells
Researchers cultivated motoneurons from the spinal cord of mice on various kinds of extracellular matrix, from which they experimentally removed certain sugar residues (chondroitin sulfates). By comparing the cell cultures with and without sugar residues, they were able to show that the residues control the growth and survival of the motoneurons. [Press release from EurekAlert! discussing online prepublication in the Journal of Neuroscience Research]


CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

A Fibronectin-Independent Mechanism of Collagen Fibrillogenesis in Adult Liver Remodeling
Researchers generated a conditional, fibronectin-deficient mouse model of liver injury and explored whether fibronectin would be a suitable target for preventing extensive collagen deposits and scar formation that could lead to liver fibrosis. [Gastroenterology]

Nanolithographic Control of the Spatial Organization of Cellular Adhesion Receptors at the Single-Molecule Level
Researchers have developed a technique which combines molecular-scale nanolithography with site-selective biochemistry to create biomimetic arrays of individual protein binding sites. The binding sites can be arranged in heterogeneous patterns of virtually any possible geometry with a nearly unlimited number of degrees of freedom. Researchers used these arrays to explore how the geometric organization of the extracellular matrix binding ligand RGD (Arg-Gly-Asp) affects cell adhesion and spreading. [Nano Lett]

The Role of Extracellular Matrix Composition in Structure and Function of Bioengineered Skeletal Muscle
Researchers hypothesized that engineered muscle’s force production and transmission would be profoundly influenced by cell-matrix interactions. To test this hypothesis, they systematically varied the matrix protein type (collagen I/fibrin/Matrigel) and concentration in engineered, hydrogel-based neonatal rat skeletal muscle bundles and assessed the resulting tissue structure, generation of contractile force, and intracellular Ca2+ handling. [Biomaterials]

The Performance of Laminin-Containing Cryogel Scaffolds in Neural Tissue Regeneration
Researchers describe neurogenic properties of bioactive scaffolds generated by cryogelation of dextran or gelatin linked to laminin — the main component of brain extracellular matrix. [Biomaterials]

Layer-by-Layer Films Made from Extracellular Matrix Macromolecules on Silicone Substrates
Researchers assessed the build-up of type I collagen (Col1)/chondroitin sulfate or Col1/Heparin on polydimethylsiloxane substrates. [Biomacromolecules]

A New Insight in the Dissociating Effect of Strontium on Bone Resorption and Formation
Researchers investigated the capacities of their strontium-substituted sol-gel calcium phosphate to modify genes expression and proteins involved in extracellular matrix synthesis by primary bone cells. [Acta Biomater]

Granzyme B Contributes to Extracellular Matrix Remodeling and Skin Aging in Apolipoprotein E Knockout Mice
Results provide novel insights into the effects of a high fat diet and apolipoprotein E deficiency on skin aging and pathology and suggest a role for granzyme B in age-related skin thinning and frailty. [Exp Gerontol]

The Role of the Cytoskeleton in Cellular Force Generation in 2D and 3D Environments
Data suggest that despite differences in cytoskeletal organization in 2D and 3D, actin, microtubules and myosin contribute to contractility and matrix reorganization similarly in both microenvironments. [Phys Biol]
Influence of Glial-Derived Matrix Molecules, Especially Chondroitin Sulfates, on Neurite Growth and Survival of Cultured Mouse Embryonic Motoneurons
Results indicate that molecules of the extracellular matrix, especially chondroitin sulfates, play an important role as axon growth-promoting cues. [J Neurosci Res]


Halozyme Announces Roche Doses First Patient in Phase III Clinical Trial with Subcutaneous MabThera® (rituximab)
Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. and Roche announced the first patient received subcutaneous MabThera (rituximab), an anticancer biologic, in a Phase III registration trial using Enhanze™ technology (rHuPH20, recombinant human hyaluronidase). [Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. Press Release]

Fibrocell Science, Inc. Announces Positive Results of Its Pilot Study for Treatment of Vocal Fold Scarring with Fibroblasts
Fibrocell Science, Inc. announced publication of results of a five-patient pilot study evaluating the safety and effectiveness of autologous fibroblasts to treat vocal fold scarring. [Fibrocell Science, Inc. Press Release]

UMASS Medical School’s Human Stem Cell Bank Makes Available First Seven Stem Cell Lines
The first seven stem cell lines grown and banked at the University of Massachusetts (UMASS) Medical School’s Human Stem Cell Bank are ready for worldwide distribution to researchers working on discovering new therapeutic treatments for diseases such as cancer, juvenile diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, among others. [EurekAlert!]

UCSF Stem Cell Building Opens, a Milestone for Pioneering Program
The University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) celebrates the official opening of the Ray and Dagmar Dolby Regeneration Medicine Building, a testament to the power of perseverance in the stem cell field. [University of California, San Francisco Press Release]

Scientists Warn Against Stifling Effect of Widespread Patenting in Stem Cell Field
A team of scholars urges the scientific community to act collectively to stem the negative effects of patenting and privatizing of stem cell lines, data and pioneering technologies. This means grappling with the ambiguity of several fundamental distinctions typically made in ethics, law, and common practice, the experts insist. [Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics Press Release]


National Institutes of Health (United States)

Food and Drug Administration (United States)

Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (United States)
European Medicines Agency (European Union)

Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (United Kingdom)

Therapeutic Goods Administration (Australia)


Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the extracellular matrix community.


Lab Technologist – Human Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies)

Assistant Professor (University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Center for Cellular and Molecular Engineering)

Field Applications Specialist – Cell Therapy (Medical) (Pall Corporation)

Postdoctoral Researcher Biophysics of Cell Attachment to Biomaterials (Centre for Cooperative Research in Biomaterials)

Process Technical Development Scientist (StemCells, Inc.)

Quality Assurance Specialist – Gene Transfer & Somatic Cell Engineering Facility (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center )

Manager Clinical Affairs (Bioheart, Inc.)

Postdoctoral Position – Germline Stem Cells (R. L. Brinster, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania)

Research Assistant/Fellow in Biomedical Engineering (University of Glasgow)

Postdoctoral Fellow (Thomas Jefferson University)

Research Associate (Imperial College London)

Postdoctoral Researcher (University of California – Irvine)

Postdoctoral Fellow in Systems Microscopy of Cell Migration (Karolinska Institutet)

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