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Keywords:

  • CARS microscopy;
  • cell-matrix signals;
  • electrospinning;
  • marrow stromal cells;
  • protein engineering
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

A nanoscale mimic of the extracellular matrix is electrospun from a highly tunable family of elastin-like proteins. A sequence-specific, two-step crosslinking procedure is developed to preserve the nanofiber morphology, elastin-like mechanics, and specific bioactivity. Rodent marrow stromal cells show sequence-specific adhesion on the matrices, which are imaged using label-free coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering (CARS) microscopy.