In designing polymers that can act as tissue engineering templates it is beneficial to consider methods of mimicking the natural support structures used by the human body to guide the behavior and development of cells within tissues. The well-known RGD cell adhesion ligand provides a simple mechanism of creating polymer surfaces that mimic the extracellular matrix. This paper considers the methods that have been used to attach such motifs to synthetic polymers. In general there are two strategies: the formation of polymer-peptide hybrid molecules, or the immobilization of the ligand on the fabricated surface of the polymer. The three major synthetic strategies of creating polymer-peptide hybrids are reviewed.
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