The extracellular microenvironment is a highly dynamic network of biophysical and biochemical elements, which surrounds cells and transmits molecular signals. Extracellular microenvironment controls are of crucial importance for the ability to direct cell behavior and tissue regeneration. In this review, we focus on the different components of the extracellular microenvironment, such as extracellular matrix (ECM), extracellular vesicles (EVs) and growth factors (GFs), and introduce engineering approaches for these components, which can be used to achieve a higher degree of control over cellular activities and behaviors for tissue regeneration. Furthermore, we review the technologies established to engineer native-mimicking artificial components of the extracellular microenvironment for improved regenerative applications. This review presents a thorough analysis of the current research in extracellular microenvironment engineering and monitoring, which will facilitate the development of innovative tissue engineering strategies by utilizing different components of the extracellular microenvironment for regenerative medicine in the future.
Keywords: cell behaviors; extracellular matrix; extracellular vesicles; growth factors; tissue regeneration.