We present a method for solving the governing equations from our anisotropic biphasic theory of tissue-equivalent mechanics (Barocas and Tranquillo, 1997) for axisymmetric problems. A mixed finite element method is used for discretization of the spatial derivatives, and the DASPK subroutine (Brown et al., 1994) is used to solve the resulting differential-algebraic equation system. The preconditioned GMRES algorithm, using a preconditioner based on an extension of Dembo’s (1994) adaptation of the Uzawa algorithm for viscous flows, provides an efficient and scaleable solution method, with the finite element method discretization being first-order accurate in space. In the cylindrical isometric cell traction a.ssay, the chosen test problem, a cylindrical tissue equivalent is adherent at either end to fixed circular platens. As the cells exert traction on the collagen fibrils, the force required to maintain constant sample length, or load, is measured. However, radial compaction occurs during the course of the assay, so that the cell and network concentrations increase and collagen fibrils become aligned along the axis of the cylinder, leading to cell alignment along the axis. Our simulations predict that cell contact guidance leads to an increase in the load measured in the assay, but this effect is diminished by the tendency of contact guidance to inhibit radial compaction of the sample, which in turn reduces concentrations and hence the measured load.