Development of Co-cultured Microfluidic Platform for Mimicking the Blood-Brain Barrier
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A blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a biochemical, physical barrier found in the brain vasculature that only allows selective transport of molecules in order to protect the brain from potential damages. Due to its complex structure of cellular arrangement, there is a lack of a physiologically relevant BBB model that could be used to test the efficacy of drugs that treat brain cancers, such as glioblastoma multiforme. Therefore, this study aims to introduce an in vitro BBB model on a microfluidic platform that captures the dynamic nature of BBB, mainly permeability of the BBB. The proposed BBB model, or BBB on a chip (BBBoC), incorporates human primary cells that comprise a human BBB, including human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs), human brain vascular pericytes (HBVPs), and normal human astrocytes (NHAs). To validate the proposed BBB model, this study tests for permeability of different combinations of the primary brain cells to observe the effect of cellular composition on permeability. Finally, an effective in vitro BBB model is introduced.