The development of anisotropic mechanical properties is critical for the successful tissue engineering of many soft tissues. Load bearing tissues naturally develop varying degrees of anisotropy, presumably in response to their specific loading environment. For example, the heart wall develops a collagen structure that varies in a predictable manner through its depth [1]. Tendon, on the other hand, develops a matrix that does not vary much in orientation and is highly aligned in the direction of muscle loading [2]. These varied levels of anisotropy may be due to inherent differences between the cells in each tissue, to differences in the mechanical load and boundary conditions seen by the cells, or to a combination of these factors.

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