Structure and Function of the Extracellular Matrix

ENG MS 549

This is an introductory course dealing with the detailed structure of the basic units of the extracellular matrix including collagen, elastin, microfibrils and proteoglycans as well as the functional properties of these molecules. The focus is mostly on how the structure of these components determine the functional properties such as elasticity at different scales from molecule to fibrils to organ level behavior. The biological role of these components and their interaction with cells is also covered. Interaction ofenzymes and the matrix in the presence of mechanical forces is discussed. Mathematical modeling is applied at various length scales of the extracellular matrix that provides quantitative understanding of the structure and function relationship. Special topics include how diseases affect extracellular matrix in the lung, cartilage and vasculature. The relevance of the properties of native extracellular matrix for tissue engineering is also discussed. Meets with ME 549 and BE 549. 4 cr.

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