Volume 7.10 | Mar 17

Extracellular Matrix News 7.10 March 17, 2016
Extracellular Matrix News
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‘Nano-Sensing’ Drives Melanoma Cells’ Invasion
Researchers shed light on how melanoma cells change from benign to malignant, and how the complex interaction between the cells and their surrounding environment affects outcomes of the cancer. They found that melanoma cells in the extracellular matrix — the body’s living tissue — migrate toward either dense or sparse areas of the matrix. [Press release from Yale University discussing online publication in Nature Materials] Press Release | Abstract
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Engineered Hybrid Cardiac Patches with Multifunctional Electronics for Online Monitoring and Regulation of Tissue Function
Investigators report an engineered cardiac patch that integrates cardiac cells with flexible, freestanding electronics and a 3D nanocomposite scaffold. The patch exhibited robust electronic properties, enabling the recording of cellular electrical activities and the on-demand provision of electrical stimulation for synchronizing cell contraction. [Nat Mater] Abstract | Press Release

Generation and Transplantation of Reprogrammed Human Neurons in the Brain Using 3D Microtopographic Scaffolds
Researchers present the design of three-dimensional (3D) microtopographic scaffolds, using tunable electrospun microfibrous polymeric substrates that promote in situ stem cell neuronal reprogramming, neural network establishment and support neuronal engraftment into the brain. [Nat Commun]
Full Article | Press Release 1 | Press Release 2

Loss of miR-203 Regulates Cell Shape and Matrix Adhesion through ROBO1/Rac/FAK in Response to Stiffness
Scientists identified a SLIT2/ROBO1 signaling circuit as a key regulatory mechanism by which cells sense and respond to extracellular matrix stiffness to preserve tensional homeostasis. [J Cell Biol]
Abstract | Editorial | Press Release

Collagen-Derived Matricryptins Promote Inhibitory Nerve Terminal Formation in the Developing Neocortex
Investigators discovered a novel role for an unconventional collagen—collagen XIX—in the formation of Parvalbumin+ inhibitory synapses. Mechanistically, their studies revealed that a proteolytically released fragment of this collagen, termed a matricryptin, promotes the assembly of inhibitory nerve terminals through integrin receptors. [J Cell Biol] Abstract | Editorial

Layered Hydrogels Accelerate iPSC-Derived Neuronal Maturation and Reveal Migration Defects Caused by MeCP2 Dysfunction
Scientists developed a previously unidentified 3D migration and differentiation assay in layered hydrogels to examine how cellular phenotypes in neurodevelopmental disorders are affected in neurodevelopmental disorders, such as Rett syndrome. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Twist1-Induced Activation of Human Fibroblasts Promotes Matrix Stiffness by Upregulating Palladin and Collagen α1(VI)
The authors found that human fibroblast cell lines stably transfected with Twist1 acquired characteristics of activated cancer-associated fibroblasts, such as hyperproliferation, an increased ability to migrate and an alignment of the actin cytoskeleton. Further, Twist1-activated fibroblasts promoted increased matrix stiffness. [Oncogene] Abstract

3D Extracellular Matrix Interactions Modulate Tumor Cell Growth, Invasion and Angiogenesis in Engineered Tumor Microenvironments
Researchers studied the effect of integrin binding motifs found within common extracellular matrix proteins on three-dimensional (3D) breast and prostate cancer cell cultures, and co-cultures with endothelial and mesenchymal stromal cells. [Acta Biomater] Abstract

Fibrin Hydrogels Functionalized with Cartilage Extracellular Matrix and Incorporating Freshly Isolated Stromal Cells as an Injectable for Cartilage Regeneration
Investigators developed an injectable fibrin hydrogel functionalized with cartilage ECM microparticles and transforming growth factor-β3 as a putative therapeutic for articular cartilage regeneration. [Acta Biomater] Abstract

Insight on Colorectal Carcinoma Infiltration by Studying Perilesional Extracellular Matrix
Scientists investigated the biochemical and physical diversity of extracellular matrix (ECM) in pair-wised comparisons of healthy, perilesional and colorectal carcinoma (CRC) specimens. Progressive linearization and degree of organization of fibrils was observed from healthy to perilesional and CRC ECM, and was associated with a steady increase of stiffness and collagen crosslinking. [Sci Rep] Full Article

Characterization of Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Fibrochondrocytes in Three-Dimensional Co-Culture: Analysis of Cell Shape, Matrix Production, and Mechanical Performance
Researchers examined the effect of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) co-culture with primary meniscal fibrochondrocytes (FCCs) in a three-dimensional collagen scaffold in fibrochondrogenic media. Co-culture of MSCs and FCCs was hypothesized to facilitate the transition of MSCs to a FCC cell phenotype as measured by matrix secretion and morphology. [Stem Cell Res Ther] Full Article

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Complex Tissue and Disease Modeling Using hiPSCs
Defined genetic models based on human pluripotent stem cells have opened new avenues for understanding disease mechanisms and drug screening. The authors consider emerging research creating human tissue mimics and provide some recommendations for moving the field forward. [Cell Stem Cell] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the extracellular matrix research field.
3-D Printing Could One Day Help Fix Damaged Cartilage in Knees, Noses and Ears
Researchers report that they have found a way to produce cartilage tissue by 3-D bioprinting an ink containing human cells, and they have successfully tested it in an in vivo mouse model. [Press release from the American Chemical Society (ACS) discussing research presented at the 251st National Meeting & Exposition of the ACS, San Diego] Press Release | Video

Spongy Material Helps Repair the Spine
Scientists have developed biodegradable polymer grafts that, when surgically placed in damaged vertebrae, should grow to be just the right size and shape to fix the spinal column. [Press release from the American Chemical Society (ACS) discussing research presented at the 251st National Meeting & Exposition of the ACS, San Diego] Press Release | Video

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Temple University Hospital Offering New Trial Using Donor Stem Cells to Treat Heart Failure
Temple University Hospital is participating in a nationwide, Phase III clinical trial investigating stem cells as a treatment for patients with chronic heart failure due to left ventricular systolic dysfunction. [Temple University] Press Release

Baylor College of Medicine, Baylor Scott & White Health Announce Collaboration on Biomedical Research
Baylor College of Medicine and Baylor Scott & White Health have entered into an agreement to expand biomedical research in North and Central Texas. [Baylor Scott & White Health] 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 9th Meeting of the Scandinavian Society for Biomaterials
June 1-3, 2016
Reykjavik, Iceland

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the extracellular matrix community.
NEW Associate Director for Research (Georgia Institute of Technology)

PhD Student – Extracellular Matrix Proteins in Zebrafish Fin Regeneration (TU Dresden)

Professor – Chemical and Biomedical Engineering (Nanyang Technological University)

Postdoctoral Researcher – Cell Biology and Regenerative Therapies in Cardiovascular Diseases (Universitätsmedizin Göttingen)

Faculty Position – Bioengineering (Caltech)

Postdoctoral Positions – Human Stem Cells and Heart Regenerative Medicine (University of Pittsburgh)

PhD Positions – Cancer, Microbiology and Stem Cell Engineering (Virginia Commonwealth University)

PhD Positions – Tendon Repair and Regeneration (NUI Galway)

Postdoctoral Position – Nanobiotechnology (University of Notre Dame)

Postdoctoral Position – Neurology, Pediatrics, and Genetics (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai)

Research Fellow – Biomedical Engineering (Nanyang Technological University)

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