The extracellular matrix (ECM) is a fibrous mesh within the body that provides vital chemical and mechanical cues for cell growth, proliferation and migration, which differs in its physical and chemical composition depending on its <i>in vivo</i> location. Thus far, it has proven difficult to synthetically create an ECM which mimics the complexity of <i>in vivo</i> systems. This project will combine natural hydrogels with synthetic short peptide hydrogels to create tuneable ECM mimics which are targeted towards different <i>in vivo</i> applications. These hybrid materials will be evaluated for tissue engineering, stem cell differentiation and controllable drug delivery.
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