To add the appropriate microenvironnement in your 3D cellular assays
It is well established that the extracellular matrix (ECM) plays a central role in cell homeostasis and cell adhesion by providing support, promoting cell-to-cell communication and differentiation (or dedifferentiation and tumoral progression when the ECM is modified). The composition but also the stiffness and elasticity of the ECM have important implications in cell migration, gene expression and differentiation. Components of the ECM are produced intracellularly by resident cells and secreted into the ECM via exocytosis. The ECM includes the interstitial matrix and the basement membrane. The ECM is formed by gels of polysaccharides and fibrous proteins.
ECM is a solid scaffold made by polymerization of GAG, where adhesion proteins were greffed, entangled by collagen polymer.
In ECM, Hyaluronic Acid (HA) is a key player which has different properties. This GAG has the properties to polymerise and thus made a solid scaffold which keeps the structure of the tissue. Furthermore, this component has different functions that binds to water molecules which allow water adsorption and that selectively bind different growth factor.
HA acts as an environmental cue that regulates cell behavior during embryonic development, healing processes, inflammation, and tumor development. It interacts with a transmembrane receptor, CD44.
The fact that we have found a process to used hyaluronic acid as biopolymer to synthesis our 3D cell culture system allows us to keep all properties of hyaluronic acid and thus to reproduce at the best the ECM with all biological properties (same structure, cell adhesion, water stockage, signal reservoir …).
Our BIOMIMESYS® technology is the only one on the market with these 2 properties, which are to be solid and to bind to water molecules and thus to allow water adsorption. It is because of these 2 properties, we called this 3D system : hydroscaffold.
To mimic the ECM, we Need to know the physicochemical properties (mechanical & composition) in normal and pathological organs :
- mechanical properties : elastic modulus of organs’ ECM
- composition of ECM : During different pathologies (like liver fibrosis or cancer), the secretion of collagen and GAGs is modified, therefore modifying the stiffness of the environment
Ex : Modification of the ECM of the liver during the different steps of liver disease : steatosis, NASH, fibrosis, cirrhosis
Ex : Disruption of ECM during tumor progression
=> BIOMIMESYS® 3D technology (patented)
For each organ (healthy or pathologic), we can develop a specific hydroscaffold ECM, by fine tuning its elastic modulus and its composition.