Many biological systems depend on an underlying mechanical anisotropy to give the system required functional properties. This anisotropy is often created via fibres embedded within a ground matrix. For example, cellulose microfibres within plant cell walls which enable directional pressure driven expansion and collagen fibres within extracellular matrix which guide cell behaviour. Similar ideas can be exploited within a synthetic biology context to investigate the properties of biological molecules via spectroscopy. We use a similar mathematical framework to study these diverse problems, which we discuss here.