Physical Properties of an Artificial Extracellular Matrix Based on a Crosslinked Elastin-Like Polymer
An elastin-like polymer (ELP) was designed by genetic engineering techniques to mimic the extracellular matrix (ECM). The precise control of the polymer sequence offered many advantages that allowed the definition of distinct and specific domains. The cell attachment domain present in the sequence enhances the cell adhesion. Hexamethylene diisocyanate, a lysine-targeted crosslinker, was used to crosslink the purified polymer. The produced matrices presented an adequate mechanical performance and the morphological analysis by scanning electron microscopy show a homogeneous porous structure, ranging from nanometers to few micrometres. The biological tests will be assessed in future work. These results show the big potential of the ELPs in biomedical applications, especially in the development of systems for tissue engineering and drug release.
António Torres Marques, António Fernando Silva, António Paulo Monteiro Baptista, Carlos Sá, Fernando Jorge Lino Alves, Luís Filipe Malheiros and Manuel Vieira
V. Espírito Santo et al., "Physical Properties of an Artificial Extracellular Matrix Based on a Crosslinked Elastin-Like Polymer", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 587-588, pp. 47-51, 2008