Cells reside in a dynamic environment composed of extracellular matrix (ECM) and other cells, and take a variety of cues, of which mechanical stresses and strains are an important subset. ECM undergoes constant synthesis and degradation, and its mechanical stiffness can also be altered, with ageing, upon external assault or via pathological processes. Particularly in load barring tissues, the mechanical properties of the ECM can vary, by exposure to changing load conditions through, for example, collagen realignment. Tissue-implant interfaces also present medically important dynamic mechanical environment. Furthermore, recent studies revealed that the ranges of mechanical stiffness of ECM or substrates can alter specific cellular properties in distinct ways. From an engineering viewpoint, it is thus beneficial to be able to modify the physical properties of the biomaterials for the implants, providing optimal conditions for a specific desired outcome at different points during time progression. All of these reasons make it desirable to have a dynamic culture system with controlled property changes.

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