What is an “Extracellular Matrix” In ACell’s Hair Cloning Technology?

December 3rd, 2010

Q: Like many people who are eagerly awaiting hair cloning, I read about ACell’s new technology, but what is an “extracellular matrix”? — S.B., Chicago, IL

A: An extracellular matrix, or ECM, is the substance between the cells in all animal tissues. It provides support to the cells and a number of other important functions. ECM is made up of fibrous proteins that form a web or mesh filled with a substance called glycosaminoglycans (GAG). One type of GAG, called hyaluronic acid, functions to hold water in the tissues. Another important part of the extracellular matrix is the basement membrane on which the epithelial cells of the skin and other tissues lie. Elastin in the ECM allows blood vessels, skin, and other tissues to stretch.

ECM has many functions including providing support for cells, regulating intercellular communication, and providing growth factors for wound healing and tissue regeneration.

Read more about ACell’s MatriStem ECM on our ACell for Hair Cloning page.

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Posted by Robert M. Bernstein M.D. on December 3rd, 2010 at 2:56 pm


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