Synthetic extracellular matrices based on supramolecular materials
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a complex assembly of various molecules held together via both covalent and noncovalent interactions. In order to make materials with comparable properties it is proposed that supramolecular materials based on hydrogen bonding units are eminently suitable. An important challenge in the synthesis and formulation of synthetic extracellular matrices is the introduction of complexity. The bioactivity we have introduced into our supramolecular systems is based on small synthetic peptides, large ECM proteins, carbohydrates or decellularized ECM. Interestingly, small synthetic peptides can outperform mixtures of a large amount of different bioactive compounds, highlighting the importance of simple synthetic systems.
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