This research project is focused on combining novel STBL bioreactors with an advanced intravital imaging modality in order to develop robust techniques for determining the growth laws of soft tissues. The continuum theory of soft tissue
growth and remodeling is nascent and requires the development of new approaches for hypothesizing, testing, and validating rate equations required in soft tissue growth and remodeling simulations. Our laboratory is well positioned
to make significant advances in this area of research having developed multiphasic growth and remodeling theory (see Harper J et al. 2014 and Armstrong et al. 2016) while also developing new optomechanical intravital imaging techniques
to visualize the mechanobiology of soft tissues in real time (see Keyes JT et al., 2013, Haskett DG et al. 2016 amongst others). Paramount in the experimental arm of this research aim is the ability to intravitally image collagen,
elastin, and protease activity in real time using an advanced multiphoton microscope, all as a function of mechanical stimulation in bioreactor culture.