The extracellular matrix (ECM) is the physical scaffold that binds cells and tissues together and upon which cells survive, proliferate, differentiate and migrate. The ECM is a key regulator of cell and tissue function and plays a critical role in maintaining healthy tissue. Proteoglycans are important structural and functional macromolecules native to the ECM and are known to protect against tissue degradation and promote healing during injury. They are comprised of a protein core and carbohydrate side chains, and their specific biological roles vary depending upon composition and location in the body.

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