Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) hold tremendous therapeutic potential due to their ability to modulate the immune system and to provide rescue signals to cells following an insult. However, MSCs are a rare cell type and must be isolated from the bone marrow and expanded in a dish in order to obtain sufficient cell numbers for either research or clinical use. Despite our appreciation that MSCs can sense, respond to and remember substrate elasticity, the expansion of MSCs is typically conducted on rigid culture dishes. We will use specially engineered culture dishes that mimic the elastic environment experienced by MSCs in their native location. Unlike previous studies that utilised MSCs that were plagued by past mechanical traumas, our approach is likely to unlock the true potential of MSCs following their expansion in a supportive environment.