Extracellular matrix components when used as a substratum in vitro can greatly influence cell behavior. The response observed is dependent on the type of cell and matrix used. Cells in vitro usually respond best to the matrix components with which they are normally in contact in vivo. More differentiated phenotypes are observed and cells generally survive longer on such matrices. In some cases, the presence of such matrices allows cells to be cultured in the absence of serum and growth factors. As more investigators try the matrices and matrix components described, as well as new components and combinations of them, it is anticipated that improvement in the culture of many cells can be expected.