Cell interactions with three-dimensional matrices

Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2002 Oct;14(5):633-9. doi: 10.1016/s0955-0674(02)00364-2.


Signaling and other cellular functions differ in three-dimensional compared with two-dimensional systems. Cell adhesion structures can evolve in vitro towards in-vivo-like adhesions with distinct biological activities. In this review, we examine recent advances in studies of interactions of fibroblasts with collagen gels and fibronectin-containing matrices that mimic in vivo three-dimensional microenvironments. These three-dimensional systems are illuminating mechanisms of cell-matrix interactions in living organisms.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Collagen / metabolism*
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism*
  • Fibronectins / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Models, Biological
  • Protein Binding
  • Signal Transduction


  • Fibronectins
  • Collagen