Engineered tissues are necessary to replace diseased and damaged tissues incapable of healing on their own. One method employed to produce them involves cell entrapment in a fibrin gel constrained by specially designed molds [1]. As the cells compact and remodel the gel, the combination of mold constraints and cell tractions produces fiber alignment similar to native tissues [2]. One potentially important factor in the remodeling outcome is the local mechanical environment that develops during the compaction and remodeling process. It is well established that the global stress environment leads to changes in remodeling in an isotropic sample [3], but we do not know the effect of local variations in stress field in a heterogeneous sample. To begin to assess the local mechanical environment’s role, we examined the remodeling process in cross-shaped Teflon molds (cruciforms). In this experiment, two mold geometries with differing channel widths were examined: a 1:1 aspect ratio in which the both axes possessed 8 mm wide channels, and a 1:0.5 aspect ratio in which one axis had 8 mm wide channels and the other 4 mm wide channels (fig. 1).

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