"Functional tissue engineering" is a subset of the field of tissue engineering that was proposed by the United States National Committee on Biomechanics over a decade ago in order to place more emphasis on the roles of biomechanics and mechanobiology in tissue repair and regeneration. Over the past decade, there have been tremendous advances in this area, pointing out the critical role that biomechanical factors can play in the engineered repair of virtually all tissue and organ systems. In this special issue of the Journal of Biomechanics, we present a series of articles that address a broad array of the fundamental topics of functional tissue engineering, including: (1) measurement and modeling of the in vivo biomechanical environment and history in native and repair tissues; (2) further understanding of the biomechanical properties of native tissues across all geometric scales, in the context of repair or regeneration; (3) prioritization of specific biomechanical properties as design criteria; (4) development of biomaterials, scaffolds, and engineered tissues with prescribed biomechanical properties; (5) development of success criteria based on appropriate outcome measures; (6) investigation of the effects of mechanical factors on tissue repair in vivo; (7) investigation of the mechanisms by which physical factors may enhance tissue regeneration in vitro; and (8) development and validation of computational models of tissue growth and remodeling. These articles represent the tremendous expansion of this field in recent years, and emphasize the critical roles that biomechanics and mechanobiology play in controlling tissue repair and regeneration. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.