Volume 4.02 | Jan 17

Extracellular Matrix News 4.02 January 17, 2013
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A Thermoresponsive and Chemically Defined Hydrogel for Long-Term Culture of Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Scientists report the identification of a family of chemically defined thermoresponsive synthetic hydrogels based on 2-(diethylamino)ethyl acrylate, which support long-term human embryonic stem cell growth and pluripotency over a period of 2-6 months. [Nat Commun] Full Article | Press Release

Learn more about the new smartphone app for human blood cell frequencies
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)

Human Cartilage Repair with a Photoreactive Adhesive-Hydrogel Composite
A poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate hydrogel was designed to support cartilage matrix production, with easy surgical application. A model in vitro system demonstrated deposition of cartilage-specific extracellular matrix in the hydrogel biomaterial and stimulation of adjacent cartilage tissue development by mesenchymal stem cells. [Sci Transl Med] Abstract

Promoting Reprogramming FGF2 Reveals that the Extracellular Matrix Is a Barrier for Reprogramming Fibroblasts to Pluripotency
Recent evidence has revealed that reprogramming efficiency could be improved by fibroblast growth factors (FGF2), while the underlying molecular mechanism remains unknown. Here investigators dissected the roles of FGF2 in promoting mouse fibroblast reprogramming and disclosed the molecular mechanism behind this process. [Stem Cells] Abstract

The IL-6 Trans-Signaling-STAT3 Pathway Mediates Extracellular Matrix and Cellular Proliferation in Fibroblasts from Hypertrophic Scar
Researchers investigated the role of the IL-6 trans-signaling-signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) pathway in hypertrophic scar (HS) fibroblasts derived from post-burn HS skin. [J Invest Dermatol] Full Article

PAK-PIX Interactions Regulate Adhesion Dynamics and Membrane Protrusion to Control Neurite Outgrowth
The roles of P21-activated kinase (PAK) in the regulation of axon outgrowth downstream of extracellular matrix proteins are poorly understood. Here investigators showed that PAKs 1-3 and PIX are expressed in the developing spinal cord and differentially target to point contacts and filopodial tips within motile growth cones. [J Cell Sci] Abstract

LPA1-Induced Cytoskeleton Reorganization Drives Fibrosis through Connective Tissue Growth Factor-Dependent Fibroblast Proliferation
Using a mouse peritoneal fibrosis model, scientists demonstrated central roles for lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) and LPA1 in fibroblast proliferation. Genetic deletion or pharmacological antagonism of LPA1 protected mice from peritoneal fibrosis, blunting the increases in peritoneal collagen by 65.4 and 52.9%, respectively, compared to control animals and demonstrated that peritoneal fibroblast proliferation was highly LPA1 dependent. [FASEB J] Abstract

Mutations in the Catalytic Domain of Human Matrix Metalloproteinase-1 (MMP-1) that Allow for Regulated Activity through the Use of Ca2+
By systematically creating point mutations in the catalytic and linker domains of human MMP-1, researchers generated a protein library amenable to physiological parameter-based screening. Mutants screened for temperature sensitive activity had mutations clustered at or near amino acids critical for metal binding. [J Biol Chem]
Abstract | Full Article

Effects of Cysteine Proteases on the Structural and Mechanical Properties of Collagen Fibers
Excessive cathepsin K (catK) mediated turnover of fibrillar type I and II collagens in bone and cartilage leads to osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. The authors aimed to explore the structural and mechanical consequences of collagen fiber degradation by catK. [J Biol Chem] Abstract | Full Article

Cleavage of Extracellular Matrix in Periodontitis: Gingipains Differentially Affect Cell Adhesion Activities of Fibronectin and Tenascin-C
Fibronectin and tenascin-C are pericellular extracellular matrix glycoproteins present in periodontal tissues. Whereas fibronectin mediates fibroblast adhesion, tenascin-C binds to fibronectin and inhibits its cell-spreading activity. Using purified proteins in vitro, investigators asked whether fibronectin and tenascin-C are cleaved by gingipains at clinically relevant concentrations, and how fragmentation by the bacterial proteases affects their biological activity in cell adhesion. [Biochim Biophys Acta] Abstract

Non-Destructive Analysis of Extracellular Matrix Development in Cardiovascular Tissue-Engineered Constructs
Procollagen I carboxyterminal peptide, procollagen III aminoterminal peptide, tropoelastin and sulphated glycosaminoglycans were investigated for their potential use as non-destructive markers in culture medium of statically cultivated cell-seeded fibrin gels. [Ann Biomed Eng] Abstract

TeSR-E8 is Here!


Regenerative Medicine in 2012: The Coming of Age of Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering
A number of new concepts have been developed that promise to enhance the success of cell-based and biomaterial-based tissue engineering approaches. [Nat Rev Rheumatol] Abstract

Natural ECM as Biomaterial for Scaffold Based Cardiac Regeneration Using Adult Bone Marrow Derived Stem Cells
Due to the niche like conditions of extracellular matrix (ECM), stem cells tend to differentiate into tissue specific cells and attain several characteristics similar to that of functional cells even in absence of any directed differentiation using external inducers. The development of niche mimicking biomaterials and hybrid biomaterial can further advance directed differentiation without specific induction. [Stem Cell Rev Rep] Abstract

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BioTime Submits Protocol for Initiation of Human Clinical Trials of Renevia™ in Europe
BioTime, Inc. announced it has submitted a Clinical Investigation Protocol to European regulatory authorities for approval to initiate studies for its Renevia™ stem cell delivery platform. Renevia™ is a proprietary formulation that mimics the human extracellular matrix, a web of molecules surrounding cells that is essential to cellular function. [BioTime, Inc.] Press Release

Regenerative Medicine: Clinical Trials Launched for the Treatment of Ununited Fractures
The REBORNE project (Regenerating Bone Defects using New biomedical Engineering approaches), funded by the European Commission and coordinated by Inserm, has just received the green light from the French Medicinal Agency ANSM to begin orthopedic surgery clinical trials that aim to repair bones using adult stem cells combined with biomaterials. [INSERM] Press Release

Genoa Pharmaceuticals and McMaster University to Collaborate on Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis Research
Genoa Pharmaceuticals announced it is collaborating with Dr. Martin Kolb and researchers at McMaster University to characterize the in vivo advantages and potential clinical impact of Genoa’s lead program, inhaled GP-101 for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. [PR Newswire Association LLC]
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)


NEW American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting
February 14-18, 2013
Boston, United States

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


Scientist or Engineer – hPSC Bioengineer (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Postdoctoral Position – Tissue Engineering (Weizmann Institute of Science)

Senior Scientist – Hard Tissue Engineering (University de Limoges)

Staff Scientist – Stem Cell-Based Therapy Manufacturing (City of Hope Medical Group)

Early Stage Researcher – Laser-Made 3D Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering Applications (FORTH)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Cell-Extracellular Matrix Interactions in Cardiovascular Development & Disease (Thomas Jefferson University)

Postdoctoral Researcher – Breast Cancer Cells & Extracellular Matrix (Mount Sinai School of Medicine)

Postdoctoral Fellow (Medical University of Warsaw, Poland)

Postdoctoral Position – Tissue Development, Homeostasis and Malignancy (University of Oulu)

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