Electrospun biomaterials are gaining popularity as scaffolding for engineered tissues. This fibrous scaffolding of natural or synthetic polymers can mimic properties of the natural extra-cellular matrix. Moreover, undifferentiated cells seeded onto and within an electrospun matrix may be directed to differentiate into a desired tissue type through the application of the appropriate biochemical and mechanical conditions. It is becoming clear that the mechanical deformation of any electrospun matrix plays an important role in cell signaling. However, electrospun biomaterials have inherently complex geometries due to the random deposition of fibers during the electrospinning process. Even “aligned” electrospun matrices generate off-axis forces under load. This complex fiber geometry complicates any attempt at quantifying forces exerted on adherent cells during electrospun matrix deformation.

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