Experiments on explanted soft tissue and collagen gels [1], and the theory of soft tissue mechanics [2], indicate that the important mechanisms by which soft collagenous tissues deform and develop stress include elasticity, viscoelasticity and poroelasticity. These contributions to the mechanical response are directly modulated by the content and morphology of collagen, elastin, other molecules such as proteoglycans and glycosaminoglycans, and fluid, which is water. Our engineered collagenous constructs demonstrate histological and mechanical characteristics of native tendon and ligament of different levels of maturity. In order to evaluate whether the constructs have optimal mechanical function for implantation and utility for regenerative medicine, the relation must be established between the content and morphology of collagen and elastin, and the elastic, viscoelastic and poroelastic response of the engineered collagenous constructs at these different developmental levels.

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