This chapter presents the presents the potential usefulness of studying cell-collagen interactions to study cell behavior in a well defined in vitro system. Steps toward this goal have been made with the development of techniques that permit cell growth and differentiation within collagen matrices. A similar model system has also been used to study tumor cell invasiveness. The ability of cells to change shape in response to the organization of the matrix in which they reside is a well characterized phenomenon. This is a point that may be critical to understand cell interactions with collagen. The significance of the hydrated collagen substrate may reside in the ability of cells to penetrate into the collagen matrix. Most of the studies on cell growth and differentiation described in this chapter are carried out with collagen gels that are composed of a lattice of fine collagen fibrils. In addition, the studies on cell morphology and cell motility—in which cell behavior resembling that occurs in vivo were observed—can be carried out with collagen gels. On the other hand, many cell adhesion experiments can be carried out with dried collagen sub- strata, but on these substrata cells spread with lamellipodia similarly as observed on material surfaces.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology