Cells and the extracellular matrix (ECM): what is the relationship between them? This is a fundamental question. We hear many reflections about this question. Should we let cells work alone, or should we force cells to form an aggregate when working in vitro? Do cells need a specific and relevant microenvironment? In this frame, it seems important to analyze cell-ECM interactions to understand who drives whom.
Since these interactions are not that simple and need interdisciplinary understanding, we found this article by Holle et al dealing with the mechanobiology of the cell-ECM relationship very interesting. In this paper, one can find a great description of related mechanisms, a classification of mechanical properties in cancerous tissues, and a correlation between stiffness and somatic mutations. As a conclusion, the authors clearly specified the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration to understand cell-ECM relationship.
Because we believe in the role of the ECM, we are working to develop organ/tissue-specific microenvironments with our technology BIOMIMESYS hydroscaffold. To improve our technology, we follow the recommandations from our interdisciplinary scientific advisory board and also all feedback from collaborators and customers.