Glossary term

Extracellular matrix

The extracellular matrix is the name for the structure that fills the space between cells in an organism. It is made up of a network that consists mainly of collagens, hyaluronan, proteoglycans, other proteic components, water and substances dissolved in it. The importance of this structure lies in the structural, biochemical and communication support of the surrounding cells. Research shows how complex, interesting and important the structure and role of the ECM is. In addition to the functions already mentioned, the ECM is involved in cellular differentiation, fetal development, cancer cell behaviour, shaping the nervous system, playing an important role in wound healing, etc.