The Extracellular Matrix (ECM) is the fluid, containing tissue and extracellular molecules, that surrounds cells in inter-cellular spaces. Once thought merely to serve the purpose of supporting tissues and acting as scaffolding in the human body, the ECM has recently made a promising appearance in regenerative medicine. It is important to note that there are many types of ECM, and the ECM is contained in most living organisms. This fundamental substance is secreted by specialised cells in the body called fibroblasts, and certain types of ECM are secreted by particular fibroblasts, e.g. chondroblasts secrete cartilage ECM and osteoblasts secrete bone ECM.
This short article discusses the relatively new bioactive glasses which have been extensively experimented with in the field of regenerative medicine and have shown promising results. We will look at how this is a more viable alternative to already existing options in bone tissue regeneration, and also briefly at the mechanisms of how these materials actually work in the human body.