Drug Delivery and Translational Research

, Volume 2, Issue 5, pp 323–350 | Cite as

Advances in biomimetic regeneration of elastic matrix structures

  • Balakrishnan Sivaraman
  • Chris A. Bashur
  • Anand Ramamurthi
Review Article


Elastin is a vital component of the extracellular matrix, providing soft connective tissues with the property of elastic recoil following deformation and regulating the cellular response via biomechanical transduction to maintain tissue homeostasis. The limited ability of most adult cells to synthesize elastin precursors and assemble them into mature crosslinked structures has hindered the development of functional tissue-engineered constructs that exhibit the structure and biomechanics of normal native elastic tissues in the body. In diseased tissues, the chronic overexpression of proteolytic enzymes can cause significant matrix degradation, to further limit the accumulation and quality (e.g., fiber formation) of newly deposited elastic matrix. This review provides an overview of the role and importance of elastin and elastic matrix in soft tissues, the challenges to elastic matrix generation in vitro and to regenerative elastic matrix repair in vivo, current biomolecular strategies to enhance elastin deposition and matrix assembly, and the need to concurrently inhibit proteolytic matrix disruption for improving the quantity and quality of elastogenesis. The review further presents biomaterial-based options using scaffolds and nanocarriers for spatio-temporal control over the presentation and release of these biomolecules, to enable biomimetic assembly of clinically relevant native elastic matrix-like superstructures. Finally, this review provides an overview of recent advances and prospects for the application of these strategies to regenerating tissue-type specific elastic matrix structures and superstructures.


Elastin Elastic fibers Induced elastogenesis Extracellular matrix Matrix assembly Regenerative tissue repair 



Representative data from the Ramamurthi laboratory, included as illustrative examples in this manuscript, were generated with grant support from the National Institutes of Health [HL092051] awarded to Anand Ramamurthi.


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Copyright information

© Controlled Release Society 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Balakrishnan Sivaraman
    • 1
  • Chris A. Bashur
    • 1
  • Anand Ramamurthi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biomedical EngineeringThe Cleveland ClinicClevelandUSA

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