AbstractA layer of laminins, assembled on a thin sheet of collagen type IV (Col-IV) forms the backbone of the basal lamina, which controls biological processes such as embryogenesis, tissue homeostasis, and development. Here, the dynamic functions of laminin-111 (Lam-111) in ultrathin films at the air–water interface are investigated. It is shown that the 2D confinement induces polymerization and that expansion via adlayer formation occurs only with extended growth time. The highly robust self-assembly enables the functionalization of surfaces with cross-linked 2D Lam-111 networks of defined thickness using little more than a beaker. The 2D laminin material also displays two dynamic functions required for the maintenance of tissues – the capability for self-renewal and self-healing. By assembling Lam-111 2D networks at the surface of Col-IV sheets, freestanding bilayers closely mimicking the basal lamina can be produced in vitro. There is a marked difference in miPSC spreading and adhesion force between Lam-111 sheets assembled in the presence or absence of Col-IV. These fundamental studies highlight the importance of dynamic functions, encoded into the molecular structure of the building blocks, for the assembly, maintenance, and functioning of the complex material systems found in natural tissues and can provide cues for the molecular design of resilient technical systems.