Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology

Composition and Function of the Extracellular Matrix in the Human Body

Edited by Francesco Travascio, ISBN 978-953-51-2416-0, Print ISBN 978-953-51-2415-3, 372 pages, Publisher: InTech, Chapters published June 15, 2016 under CC BY 3.0 license
DOI: 10.5772/61601
Edited Volume

The extracellular matrix (ECM) is an ensemble of non-cellular components present within all tissues and organs of the human body. The ECM provides structural support for scaffolding cellular constituents and biochemical and biomechanical support for those events leading to tissue morphogenesis, differentiation and homeostasis. Essential components of all ECMs are water, proteins and polysaccharides. However, their composition, architecture and bioactivity greatly vary from tissue to tissue in relation to the specific role the ECM is required to assume. This book overviews the role of the ECM in different tissues and organs of the human body.