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Connective tissue – also known as extracellular matrix is found in all tissue of the body and fulfils multiple functions.
Besides acting as a structural component the extracellular matrix acts as an extracellular footprint for cells to interact with their environment and subsequently modulate tissue development, homeostasis and degradation.
The complexity of the extracellular matrix in different tissues reflects the need for diversity to from all different types of tissues. Acquired or inherited changes in the composition of the extracellular matrix can cause mild to severe human diseases.
The German Society for Matrix Biology therefore supports basic and clinical research to promote the understanding of these diseases.