Recapitulating dynamic ECM ligand presentation at biomaterial interfaces: Molecular strategies and biomedical prospects

Mimicking the dynamic ligand presentation in extracellular matrix is crucial to advanced biomaterial design. This review summarizes currently developed dynamic biomaterial interfaces with reversible display of ligands through different molecular strategies. The paradigmatic examples for each strategy as well as their applications in cell regulation are highlighted.


The extracellular matrix (ECM) provides not only physical support for the tissue structural integrity, but also dynamic biochemical cues capable of regulating diverse cell behaviors and functions. Biomaterial surfaces with dynamic ligand presentation are capable of mimicking the dynamic biochemical cues of ECM, showing ECM-like functions to modulate cell behaviors. This review paper described an overview of present dynamic biomaterial interfaces by focusing on currently developed molecular strategies for dynamic ligand presentation. The paradigmatic examples for each strategy were separately discussed. In addition, the regulation of some typical cell behaviors on these dynamic biointerfaces including cell adhesion, macrophage polarization, and stem cell differentiation, and their potential applications in pathogenic cell isolation, single cell analysis, and tissue engineering are highlighted. We hope it would not only clarify a clear background of this field, but also inspire to exploit novel molecular strategies and more applications to match the increasing demand of manipulating complex cellular processes in biomedicine.

Author list:

Wenbo He, Qinghe Wang, Xiaohua Tian, Guoqing Pan*

How to cite:

W. He, Q. Wang, X. Tian, G. Pan, Exploration 2022, 2, 20210093.