Volume 4.09 | Mar 7

Extracellular Matrix News 4.09 March 7, 2013
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Influence of Nanohelical Shape and Periodicity on Stem Cell Fate
The components of the extracellular matrix are known to assemble into fibrillar networks in vivo with defined periodicity. However, the effect of the most critical parameter, which involves the periodicity of these fibrillar networks on the stem cell fate is not yet investigated. Scientists showed the effect of synthetic fibrillar networks patterned with nanometric periodicities using bottom up approaches on the response of stem cells. [ACS Nano] Abstract

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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)

A Copper Sulfate and Hydroxylysine Treatment Regimen for Enhancing Collagen Cross-Linking and Biomechanical Properties in Engineered Neocartilage
The authors aimed to improve the biomechanical properties of engineered neotissues through promoting the development of collagen cross-links. It was hypothesized that supplementing medium with copper sulfate and the amino acid hydroxylysine would enhance the activity of lysyl oxidase enzyme to form collagen cross-links, increasing the strength and integrity of the neotissue. [FASEB J] Abstract

Interactions of U937 Macrophage-Like Cells with Decellularized Pericardial Matrix Materials: Influence of Crosslinking Treatment
While macrophages have been implicated in the failure of bioprosthetic heart valves, the macrophage response to crosslinked native pericardial collagen has not been previously investigated. Using decellularized bovine pericardium (DBP) as a model for native collagen, scientists investigated the response of macrophage-like cells (U937s) to DBP, either: (i) untreated, or (ii) exogenously crosslinked with glutaraldehyde or 1-ethyl-3-(3-dimethyl-aminopropyl)-carbodiimide. [Acta Biomater] Abstract

Contribution of Collagen Fibers to the Compressive Stiffness of Cartilaginous Tissues
Researchers concluded that collagen fibers significantly contribute to the compressive stiffness of the intervertebral disk at high strains. This is valuable for understanding the compressive behavior of collagen-reinforced tissues in general, and may be particularly relevant for aging or degenerate disks, which become more fibrous and less hydrated. [Biomech Model Mechanobiol] Abstract

Cell Cycle Arrest, Extracellular Matrix Changes and Intrinsic Apoptosis in Human Melanoma Cells Are Induced by Boron Neutron Capture Therapy
The authors treated human normal melanocytes and melanoma cells with boron neutron capture therapy (BNCT) at different boronophenylalanine concentrations for signaling pathways analysis. BNCT induced few morphological alterations in normal melanocytes, with a negligible increase in free radical production. Melanoma cells treated with BNCT showed significant extracellular matrix changes and a significant cyclin D1 decrease, suggesting cell death by necrosis and apoptosis and cell cycle arrest, respectively. [Toxicol In Vitro] Abstract

In Vivo Effects of Tailored Laminin-332 α3 Conjugated Scaffolds Enhances Wound Healing: A Histomorphometric Analysis
Investigators evaluated the wound healing properties of tailored laminin-332 α3 chain tethered to a type I collagen scaffold using mTGase by incorporating transglutaminase substrate peptide sequences containing either glutamine or lysine in rat full-thickness wound model at two different time points. [J Biomed Mater Res A] Abstract

Enhancing the Mechanical Properties of Engineered Tissue through Matrix Remodeling via the Signaling Phospholipid Lysophosphatidic Acid
The authors describe a novel approach to increase extracellular matrix organization, rather than content, in order to augment the mechanical properties of engineered tissue. To synthesize fibrocartilage, they employed a self-assembling process, which is free of exogenous scaffolds and relies on cell-to-cell interactions to form all-biologic constructs. [Biochem Biophys Res Commun] Abstract

Chondroitinase Injection Improves Keloid Pathology by Reorganizing the Extracellular Matrix with Regenerated Elastic Fibers
Using a model system, scientists showed that treatment of keloid tissues with chondroitinase ABC, an enzyme that specifically digests chondroitin sulfate, improves clinical features of keloids. [J Dermatol] Abstract

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Extracellular Matrix Components: An Intricate Network of Possible Biomarkers for Lysosomal Storage Disorders?
The authors provide an overview of the possible pathogenic correlations between lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs) and extracellular matrix (ECM). Data regarding the expression of these molecules are discussed. Finally, the possible implication of ECM components as therapeutic targets in this group of diseases along with the impact of the differential expression of these components in current LSD treatment are critically addressed. [FEBS Lett] Abstract

Cellular Control of Connective Tissue Matrix Tension
In response to static stretching of the tissue, fibroblasts expand within minutes by actively remodeling their cytoskeleton. This dynamic change in fibroblast shape contributes to the drop in tissue tension that occurs during viscoelastic relaxation. The authors propose that this response of fibroblasts plays a role in regulating extracellular fluid flow into the tissue, and protects against swelling when the matrix is stretched. This article reviews the evidence supporting possible mechanisms underlying this response including autocrine purinergic signaling. The authors also discuss fibroblast regulation of connective tissue tension with respect to lymphatic flow, immune function and cancer. [J Cell Biochem] Abstract


New Directions in Regenerative Medicine
The entity known formerly as the Georgia Tech/Emory Center for the Engineering of Living Tissues laid the foundation for what is now the Emory/Georgia Tech Regenerative Engineering and Medicine Center, supported with investment from the two universities. The new center is more than just a name change, says W. Robert Taylor, co-director of the center and director of the division of cardiology in the medical school. Its mission and strategy reflect the new demands of interdisciplinary research in regenerative medicine. [Emory University] Press Release

Vomaris Announces Initiation of Study with Walter Reed National Military Medical Center’s Combat Wound Initiative
Vomaris Innovations, Inc. announced the initiation of a new study with Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. The objective of the study, funded by the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, is the assessment of the clinical efficacy of a bioelectric dressing (Procellera®) in conjunction with standard-of-care on the healing rate of chronic soft tissue wounds compared with standard-of-care alone. [Vomaris Innovations, Inc.] Press Release


Lackluster Budget Leaves Indian Scientists Little to Cheer
Indian scientists face major belt-tightening in the coming year. On 28 February, the Indian government sent to Parliament for approval a $12 billion budget for science and technology (S&T) in 2013, ending several years of substantial increases for S&T. The flat budget, reflecting the government’s desire to reduce an almost $85 billion deficit, will equate to spending reductions with inflation running at about 5%. [Government of India, India] 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)


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Postdoctoral Position – Tissue Engineering (Weizmann Institute of Science)

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

Postdoctoral Position – Extracellular Matrix & Developmental Biology (Purdue University)

Postdoctoral Position – Mechanisms of Immune Evasion and Adhesion Developed by Bacterial Pathogens (Lund University)

Postdoctoral Position (Nencki Institute of Experimental Biology)

PhD Fellowship (Ghent University)

Postdoctoral Position (University of Bergen)

Senior Scientist (Spiber Technologies AB)

PhD Studentship – Single-Molecule Mechanobiology (CIC nanoGUNE Consolider Research Center)

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