Using scaffold-based approaches, tissue engineers have made bold steps toward creating replacement tissues in the laboratory. However, many of these engineered constructs do not fully match the functional properties of their native counterparts. This is partially due to our limited quantitative understanding of the growth and remodeling processes that alter the architecture of engineered tissues, both in culture and after implantation. Here, we consider the mechanisms by which physical cues direct this adaptive response. In particular, we highlight recent experimental and computational studies that characterize quantitatively the mechanics of growth and remodeling in tissue constructs. These advances, from fields as diverse as soft tissue biomechanics and developmental biology, can be used to design new tissue engineering approaches that direct the self-assembly of engineered tissues.


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