High-speed cameras are becoming more widely used to study the fast mechanical deformation of materials caused by, for example, bullet impacts and blast waves. However, typical high-speed cameras are still insufficient at limiting motion blur to below optical resolution (~100 nanometers). The Nano-Engineering Laboratory has worked with a laser-based ultrafast imaging system and a laser-based mechanical deformation system to investigate the fast mechanical deformation of various materials ranging from Kevlar to nanomaterials to brain tissue. As our imaging system is based on light pulses shorter than one picosecond, an ultrafast temporal resolution, equivalent to trillions of frames per second, can be achieved. In this talk, I will present how the ultrafast imaging system works and what opportunities emerge from the novel mechanical characterization tool.