Explore the Extracellular Matrix using a Biocolor Kit

Biocolor's background was originally Extracellular Matrix research so naturally it's a subject we are passionate about!

Please use the headings below to learn more about this ever-evolving area of research.
What is the Extracellular Matrix (ECM) ?
The ECM has been likened to a non-cellular ‘glue’ that binds cells together in connective tissues.
What does it do?
It provides necessary biomechanical support to tissues, is responsible for the physical and biochemical maintenance of all cells within an organism, and plays a key role in cellular processes including cell proliferation, differentiation and migration.
What is the ECM composed of?
At the simplest level the ECM can be considered as a network of water, proteins and polysaccharides.  
It's main structural proteins are fibrous in nature and include collagen or laminin (amongst others). These act to contain hydrogel forming molecules such as the glycosaminoglycans heparin or hyaluronic acid.
A diverse range of molecules such as growth factors and MMPs will also be present.
Why analyse the ECM?
Analysis of ECM structure aids our understanding development and aging of organisms or the development of treatments for diseases such as cancer. Through advances in Bioengineering, it is hoped to be able to control the formation and structuring of ECM and tissues for repair and replacement of damaged tissues. Purified ECM components are of growing commercial value in the cosmetics and food industries.