Standard tests are needed for evaluating and comparing the mechanical and biological functions of tissue engineered arteries and other vascular grafts. We propose an ex vivo organ culture system as a living system for testing tissue-engineered vascular grafts. This bench-top organ culture system mimics the physiological environment of arteries including the flow, pressure, and the axial stretch. Arterial mechanical properties and physiologic functions including compliance, burst pressure, and contractile functions can be assessed before an expensive long-term animal test is initiated. Test results of natural arteries indicate that organ culture is a valid model for comprehensive evaluation of tissue-engineered vascular grafts.

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