To study the effect of axial stretch on vascular function and wall remodeling, porcine carotid arteries were cultured under conditions of physiological flow and elevated axial stretch in an ex vivo organ culture system. Smooth muscle cell proliferation was measured by bromodeoxyuridine index. Results showed that cell proliferation was significantly increased in the highly stretched arteries when compared to the normally stretched arteries. This may indicate the feasibility of stimulating new arterial growth by stretching natural arteries.

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