Building In Vitro Models of Organs Journal Articles uri icon

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  • Tissue-engineering techniques are being used to build in vitro models of organs as substitutes for human donor organs for transplantation as well as in vitro toxicology testing (as alternatives to use of animals). Tissue engineering involves the fabrication of scaffolds from materials that are biologically compatible to serve as cellular supports and microhabitats in order to reconstitute a desired tissue or organ. Three organ systems that are currently the foci of tissue engineering efforts for both transplantation and in vitro toxicology testing purposes are discussed. These are models of the cornea, nerves (peripheral nerves specifically), and cardiovascular components. In each of these organ systems, a variety of techniques and materials are being used to achieve the same end results. In general, models that are designed with consideration of the developmental and cellular biology of the target tissues or organs have tended to result in morphologically and physiologically accurate models. Many of the models, with further development and refinement, have the potential to be useful as functional substitute tissues and organs for transplantation or for in vitro toxicology testing.


  • Suuronen, Erik J
  • Sheardown, Heather
  • Newman, Kimberley D
  • McLaughlin, Christopher R
  • Griffith, May

publication date

  • 2005