Tissue engineering is an interdisciplinary field that involves cell biology, materials science, reactor engineering, and clinical research with the goal of creating new tissues and organs. Significant advances in tissue engineering have been made through improving singular aspects within the overall approach, e.g., materials design, reactor design, or cell source. Increasingly, however, advances are being made by combining several areas to create environments which promote the development of new tissues whose properties more closely match their native counterparts. This approach does not seek to reproduce all the complexities involved in development, but rather seeks to promote an environment which permits the native capacity of cells to integrate, differentiate, and develop new tissues. Progenitors and stem cells will play a critical role in understanding and developing new engineered tissues as part of this approach.