MRS Communications

Prospectives Articles

Biomaterial-based strategies for the engineering of mechanically active soft tissues

Zhixiang Tonga1 and Xinqiao Jiaa1 c1

a1 Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Biomedical Engineering Program, Delaware Biotechnology Institute, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware 19716


Load-bearing, mechanically active tissues are routinely subjected to nonlinear mechanical deformations. Consequently, these tissues exhibit complex mechanical properties and unique tissue organizations. Successful engineering of mechanically active tissues relies on the integration of the mechanical sensing mechanism found in the native tissues into polymeric scaffolds. Intelligent biomaterials that closely mimic the structural organizations and multi-scale responsiveness of the natural extracellular matrices, when strategically combined with multipotent cells and dynamic culture devices that generate physiologically relevant physical forces, will lead to the creation of artificial tissues that are mechanically robust and biologically functional.

(Received January 02 2012)

(Accepted March 09 2012)


c1 Address all correspondence to Xinqiao Jia at