We are pleased to publish the second in a series of special issues published in the Journal of Biomechanical Engineering that focus in high-impact areas. The current issue grew out of a Symposium on the Mechanics of Growth and Remodeling in Native and Engineered Tissues, which took place at the 2008 Summer Bioengineering Conference, Marco Island, FL, June 25–29, 2008.

The underlying impetus for this symposium was that, despite its early success, tissue engineers have faced challenges in repairing or replacing tissues that serve a predominantly biomechanical function. An evolving discipline called “functional tissue engineering” seeks to address these challenges. The principles of functional tissue engineering address biomechanical considerations of tissue engineering approaches to repair and replacements for load-bearing structures. The long term in vivo fate of any engineered tissue is currently unknown. Clearly, a complete understanding of the in vivo remodeling process requires multi-length scale approaches. Further, the degree of cellular function and similarity to the native tissue has yet to be determined. The focus of this issue was thus to explore how state-of-the-art work in the Mechanics of Growth and Remodeling in native tissues can be applied to the development of Engineered Tissues.

Topics included in this special issue include the latest theoretical concepts and experimental applications to explore how these concepts can be applied to native and engineered tissue development, including

  • Mathematical models of growth and remodeling

  • Novel experiments in mechanically-mediated remodeling

  • Multimodal/multiscale modeling and testing of biological tissues

  • Computational models/constitutive formulations for biological tissues

  • Modeling engineered tissue formation

  • Scaffold design

The application areas of the included papers are quite broad, and include engineered tissue scaffolds, the arterial system, bone, general theories for soft tissues, cartilage, ligament, and the urinary bladder wall. We believe this issue provides a unique snapshot of the field as of the current trends.

The Guest Editors wish to thank all of the authors and reviewers for their participation and help making this special issue a success and hope that these papers will act to stimulate further work at the frontiers of our field. Finally, a special thanks to ASME for their support and encouragement in the production of this special issue.

Sincerely the Guest Editors,