Tissue engineering is a rapidly expanding, multi-disciplinary field in biomedicine. It provides the ability to manipulate living cells and biomaterials for the purpose of restoring, maintaining, and enhancing tissue and organ function. Scientists have engineered various tissues in the body, from skin substitutes to artificial nerves to heart tissues, with varying degrees of success. Although the field of tissue engineering has come a long way since its first successful demonstration by Bisceglie in the 1930s, methods of coaxing them into functional tissues have been predominantly empirical to date. To successfully develop tissue-engineered organs, it is important to understand how to maintain the cells under conditions that maximize their ability to perform their physiological roles, regardless of their environment. In that context, a methodology that combines empirical data with mathematical and statistical techniques, such as metabolic engineering and cellular informatics, to systematically determine the optimal (1) type of cell to use, (2) scaffold properties and the corresponding processing conditions to achieve those properties, and (3) the required types and levels of environmental factors and the operating conditions needed in the bioreactor, will enable the design of viable and functional tissues tailored to the specific requirements of individual situations.