The relationship between the 3D microstructure of tissue-engineered constructs (TECs) and their resulting mechanical and biological function is critical in providing TECs with clinically meaningful mechanical properties in reasonable incubation times. We hypothesize that the next generation of TECs must incorporate a controllable and optimized microstructure (and resulting mechanical properties) if they are to mechanically and biologically mimic tissue function. While the development of a robustly engineered tissue replacement will undoubtedly require simultaneous biochemical and biomechanical stimulation, this paper will focus on the development of a device to impose localized micro-mechanical stimulation.

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