Extracellular Matrix–Derived Biomaterials: Molecularly Defined Ingredients and Processing Techniques
Regenerative medicine (RM) is a new rapidly growing discipline in medical science. The need for RM partially originates from the chronic shortage of autologous or allogeneic tissues and organs for transplantation in cases of, for example, trauma, organ failure, tumors and general necrosis. The drawback of traditional allo- and xenogeneic organ or tissue transplantations is that, due to the genetic variation of species and individuals, it is subject to immunological compatibility complications which increases the severity of the organ shortage. 1 RM is based on combining knowledge gathered 794from the fields of molecular life sciences, biomedical engineering, (bio)materials science, reconstructive surgery, and transplantation biology to develop biomedical devices and treatments which aid in the repair or replacement of damaged tissues and organs. 2 More specifically, these biomedical devices or treatments comprise the supplementation to the damaged site of vital cells, extracellular matrix (ECM), biomolecules, or a combination thereof. This central dogma has led to one important strategy, namely the development of materials that mimic the ECM.