Conventional biomaterials are designed to substitute the function of living tissue. However, a well-known shortcoming is their inability to change with physiological load thus frequently requiring revision surgery. Third generation biomaterials assist the body’s self-repair mechanisms by acting as scaffolds for tissue regrowth whilst decomposing at a controlled rate thus avoiding the need for additional surgery. These biomaterials must match the mechanical properties of surrounding tissue in order to avoid collapse or mechanical seperation. In his reserach Dr Fiedler combines numerical, experimental and analytical analysis towards their mechanical characterisation and design. Special consideration is given to material decomposition that weakens the scaffold whilst newly formed tissue commences bearing part of the load.