Growth factors are endogenous signalling proteins, involved in most biological processes in humans and animals. They control a wide range of cellular functions, such as growth, maintenance, proliferation, and differentiation, and their networks are critical for intercellular communication and tissue homeostasis.
Growth factors are produced and secreted by numerous cell types to transmit signals to other cells in their immediate surroundings. Once growth factor is secreted, it works predominantly by binding to receptors on the membrane of target cells, initiating signalling cascades inside the cell to facilitate specified cell responses.
The biological importance of growth factors for cell research and therapeutic applications is indisputable. Growth factors are used in medical research such as stem cell research and regeneration medicine. Medical products combined with specifically selected growth factors have considerable potentials in treating a variety of human diseases.
Moreover, growth factors play a major role in the newly emerging industry of cell cultured meat, and it is projected that the use of growth factors will significantly increase due to this new food technology.
Among growth factors of interest is the EGF, a growth factor that controls the maintenance and renewal of skin cells. Other growth factors of interest include the FGFb growth factor, controlling the proliferation of stem cells, and the IGF-1 growth factor, promoting the formation of muscle cells.