A microfluidic platform to study the blood-brain barrier

Marinke van der Helm, Jean-Philippe Frimat, Mathieu Odijk, Albert van den Berg, Jan Eijkel, Loes Segerink

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterAcademic


A realistic model of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) is valuable to perform drug screening experiments and to improve the understanding of the barrier’s physiology in normal and pathological conditions. Conventional in vitro systems (e.g. Transwell systems) lack reproducibility and have a static environment. To overcome these disadvantages, we have recently developed a “BBB-on-a-chip”, which uses microfluidics and (human) cells to mimic organ function.
hCMEC/D3 cells were cultured inside this microfluidic chip for up to 15 days. With four integrated electrodes reliable transendothelial electrical resistance measurements were carried out. Additionally, using immunohistochemistry it was shown that the endothelium expressed tight junction proteins, which is an essential characteristic of the BBB.
To further improve the physiological relevance of this promising platform, the cells inside the channels will be cultured under fluid flow. As application, this platform will be used to study the transport of nanocarriers with Alzheimer medication through the BBB.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event1st International Organ-on-chip symposium, IOOCS16 - University of Twente, Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: 9 Mar 201610 Mar 2016
Conference number: 1


Conference1st International Organ-on-chip symposium, IOOCS16
Abbreviated titleIOOCS 2016


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