About the book
The Extra Cellular Matrix (ECM) connects cells in tissues and provides the organization and support for every organ system of the body. To fully understand physiology, it is important to study cellular biology in the context of its communication with its surrounding environment, a large part of which is the ECM. The ECM is a complex system in mammals which is responsible, not just for structural support, but function. Specific amino acid sequences on ECM elements elicit intra and extracellular biochemical cascades leading to cell division, proliferation, wound healing and inflammation. ECM interactions with transmembrane receptors may induce, accelerate, retard and/or halt intra-cellular processes. There has been a significant increase in the number of people suffering from ECM-related maladies, creating the need for us to understand these diseases at a molecular level, to design novel, smart therapeutic regimens. The development of ECM implants is steadily increasing, with overwhelming market demand.
The aim of this book is to report on the latest developments in the molecular structure-function relationships of various ECM elements. The book will also focus on the latest reports of the role of ECM in various physiological and pathological conditions, and the developments in medical and surgical intervention through tissue engineering (implants).