The extracellular matrix

Laurea liv.II (specialistica)

Facoltà: Ingegneria

Autore: Daniele Sacchi Contatta »

Composta da 110 pagine.


Questa tesi ha raggiunto 67 click dal 16/02/2011.

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Study of the RGD role in cells patterning onto a substrate in microfluidic devices di Daniele Sacchi

The extracellular matrix (ECM) is defined as the extracellular part of animal tissue that provide support to the cells more than other important function including tissue repair, embryogenesis, blood clotting, and cell migration/adhesion. In some cases, the ECM accounts for more of the organism's bulk than its cells and it basically determine the physical behavior of the tissues.
The ECM of vertebrates is made up of: 1) Proteoglycans, that are molecules constituted by polysaccharide chains of the class of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) that are usually covalently linked to protein 2) Fibrous protein like collagen, elastin, fibronectin and laminin. These molecule help to determine the structure giving it the right elasticity and most of all they allow cells to attach in determined locations 3) Mineral deposits (in the case of bone).
This compounds are secreted locally mostly by fibroblast cells and assembled into an organized meshwork in close association with the surface of the cell that produce them. The structure of this matrix is rather complex and although the understanding of its organization is still incomplete the progress in its characterization is very rapid.
The most of the proteins are glycoproteins, that is having short chains of carbohydrate residues attached to them and are collagen, elastin, laminin and fibronectin. The protein that, in our case, plays a crucial role in the binding of the cells in vivo and can be used as well for the immobilization of cells in any substrate is the fibronectin. In fact this large protein found in all vertebrates is able to bind to transmembrane glycoproteins called integrin that is present in all the cells of all the animals tested so far.
The morphology and the function of the fibronectin is going to be discussed right now, as well as the structure of the integrin and the way in which they interact.