An Elusive In vitro Native-like Microenvironment-Is a Decellularized Extracellular Matrix the Answer?
Native microenvironment (NME) provides the mechanophysiological condition to the cells or tissues in their local microenvironment, where cells do grow, proliferate, differentiate, and migrate as well as undergo the natural apoptosis process. All the processes happen in cellular level to maintain a tissue or an organ homeostasis. In addition, NME controls a cell or a tissue function, for example secretion of bioactive molecules, deposition of extracellular matrix proteins (ECMs), organization of different kinds of cells, and hierarchical mechanisms on cell cross-talk networks [1-3]. NME is normal as in a normal tissue or abnormal as in a cancerous tissue. As in vivo, cells, their spatial arrangements, cell-cell interactions and cell-matrix interactions are indispensable to create and maintain the NME [4,5]. In other words, cells determine their NME and the NME controls the function of cells or vice versa. Generally, mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), tissue specific stem cells, fibroblasts, immune cells, endothelial cells, lymphatic cells, adipocytes and migrating cells participate in the formation of NME, depending on the organ specificities. In tumor microenvironment (TME), presence of tumor cells and their control on other cells is vital for tumor growth and vasculogenesis [2,6].