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This work highlights the impact that integrated measurement techniques in tissue engineering platforms can have in elucidating basic biologic mechanisms. In this work, a composite matrix and strain device is described that can support natural matrices within a macroporous elastic structure of polyurethane. In this way, a well-defined dynamic strain could be imposed on the 3-D collagen and cells within the collagen for several days without the typical matrix contraction by fibroblasts when cultured in 3-D collagen gels. Taken together, these papers are illustrative of a larger body of work that is beginning to develop and integrate quantitative measurements techniques into complex tissue microenvironments in order to better understand dynamic responses to mechanical and chemical cues.