Guest Edited by Stefan Rammelt
Issue 3, Volume 2 of Biomatter
Cover image: Type I collagen fibrils from bovine hide prepared in vitro, from Bierbaum et al.
The term extracellular matrix (ECM) has generated various associations throughout the history of medical research. While the spontaneously organizing fibers of connective tissue were originally thought to be the basis of life, the advent of the cellular concept by Rudolf Virchow put the ECM into the second line reducing their function to a mere scaffold and glue (“collagen”). Over the past decades our knowledge of the composition of the physiologic ECM has increased steadily and many possible interactions of several ECM components with cytokines and cell receptors have been discovered, making the ECM a promising target for improving the performance of biomaterials. The reviews in this Special Issue of Biomatter reflect the work of a Collaborative Research Center (TRR 67) of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) based in Leipzig and Dresden, Germany, dedicated to matrix engineering in soft and hard tissues.