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  1. Advances in mechanobiology have evolved through insights from multiple disciplines including structural engineering, biomechanics, vascular biology, and orthopaedics. In this paper, we reviewed the impact of key reports related to the study of applied loads on tissues and cells and the resulting signal transduction pathways. We addressed how technology has helped advance the burgeoning field of mechanobiology (over 33,600 publications from 1970 to 2016). We analyzed the impact of critical ideas and then determined how these concepts influenced the mechanobiology field by looking at the citation frequency of these reports as well as tracking how the overall number of citations within the field changed over time. These data allowed us to understand how a key publication, idea, or technology guided or enabled the field. Initial observations of how forces acted on bone and soft tissues stimulated the development of computational solutions defining how forces affect tissue modeling and remodeling. Enabling technologies, such as cell and tissue stretching, compression, and shear stress devices, allowed more researchers to explore how deformation and fluid flow affect cells. Observation of the cell as a tensegrity structure and advanced methods to study genetic regulation in cells further advanced knowledge of specific mechanisms of mechanotransduction. Themore »future of the field will involve developing gene and drug therapies to simulate or augment beneficial load regimens in patients and in mechanically conditioning organs for implantation. Here, we addressed a history of the field, but we limited our discussions to advances in musculoskeletal mechanobiology, primarily in bone, tendon, and ligament tissues.« less