How it Works

Harnessing science to promote natural healing

Extracellular matrix (ECM®) is the naturally occurring bioscaffold that surrounds cells in almost all tissues. ECM functions to regulate cell adhesion, differentiation, division, and migration.

Our patented ECM® material acts as a scaffold into which the patient’s own cells migrate and integrate — stimulating natural wound healing mechanisms which mature to form a strong, permanent tissue repair. CorMatrix is produced in a manner that retains these natural ECM molecules including growth factors, proteins, and cytokines which are known to play important roles in host tissue repair and remodeling. CorMatrix devices have been used as a biologic scaffold in many different surgical applications, including cardiac and vascular repairs and reconstruction. It enables surgeons to restore the native anatomy of cardiac and vascular tissues in need of repair, serving as a superior alternative to synthetic or cross-linked materials.


Cormatrix serves both structural and functional roles and is composed of:

  • Structural proteins, such as collagen and elastin
  • Adhesion glycoproteins, such as fibronectin and laminin
  • Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) and proteoglycans
  • Growth factors

Proliferation, Differentiation, Attachment, Migration

The cell is in constant communication with ECM through transmembrane receptors contained within the cell membrane. Through the specific cell attachments, ECM guides the gene expression and enables cell migration, proliferation, and differentiation.

The Manufacturing Process

CorMatrix is produced from porcine small intestinal submucosa (SIS), a naturally occurring and harvestable ECM. The submucosa is located between the mucosal and muscular layers of the small intestine. In addition to being a repository for growth factors, the submucosal layer provides strength to the small intestine through a complex organization of collagen that forms a fibrous matrix. The SIS is extracted from the intestine in a manner that removes all cells, but leaves the complex extracellular matrix intact. Careful processing and manufacturing leaves the naturally fibrous and porous nature of the matrix available for new cell in-growth while making it safe for implantation.

Not all extracellular matrix materials are alike. Over-processing of the source material can have negative effects on the underlying components and structure, which will result in a material that does not remodel normally.

To enhance patient safety, the base material undergoes a high-level disinfection and decellularization process. As a final step in the process, all implants are sterilized by validated sterilization cycles.

CorMatrix products are rigorously tested to confirm that they are biocompatible. In vitro test results demonstrate that the human complement cascade is not activated following implantation, indicating that they do not elicit an acute rejection response.