We review the most commonly used theoretical methods and models for the mechanical properties of soft biomaterials, which include phenomenological hyperelastic and viscoelastic models, structural biphasic and network models, and the structural alteration theory. We emphasize basic concepts and recent developments. In consideration of the current progress and needs of mechanobiology, we introduce methods and models for tackling micromechanical problems and their applications to cell biology. Finally, the challenges and perspectives in this field are discussed.
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