The cell-derived extracellular matrix (ECM) is associated with a lower risk of pathogen transfer, and it possesses an ideal niche with growth factors and complex fibrillar proteins for cell attachment and growth. However, the cell-derived ECM is found to have poor biomechanical properties, and processing of cell-derived ECM into gels is scarcely studied. The gel provides platforms for three-dimensional cell culture, as well as injectable biomaterials, which could be delivered via a minimally invasive procedure. Thus, in this study, an adipose-derived stem cell (ADSC)-derived ECM gel was developed and cross-linked by genipin to address the aforementioned issue. The genipin cross-linked ADSC ECM gel was fabricated via several steps, including rabbit ADSC culture, cell sheets, decellularization, freeze–thawing, enzymatic digestion, neutralization of pH, and cross-linking. The physicochemical characteristics and cytocompatibility of the gel were evaluated. The results demonstrated that the genipin cross-linking could significantly enhance the mechanical properties of the ADSC ECM gel. Furthermore, the ADSC ECM was found to contain collagen, fibronectin, biglycan, and transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, which could substantially maintain ADSC, skin, and ligament fibroblast cell proliferation. This cell-derived natural material could be suitable for future regenerative medicine and tissue engineering application.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4864
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - Jul 9 2020


  • Cell-derived
  • Cross-linked
  • Extracellular matrix gel
  • Genipin
  • Tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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