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Biomimicking the Brain Vasculature With a Microfluidic Chip With Ami Mehta

The human brain is incredibly complex, and this makes it hard to study. Hence, a lack of accurate tissue models presents a significant bottleneck to important biological and psychological research. To accurately model the human brain, researchers have developed smaller tissue models that mimic specific brain regions – such as the blood-brain barrier (BBB).

The BBB is an important feature of the human brain as it selectively mediates communication between the lymphatic system and the central nervous system (CNS). The BBB prevents large molecules and disease-causing microorganisms from entering the brain tissue and keeps the CNS safe. Using organ-on-a-chip technology, researchers at the IITB Monash Research Academy in Mumbai (India) have developed a new tissue model capable of biomimicking the human BBB. The new ‘brain-on-a chip’ utilizes Cayley-tree geometry and heterogeneous fluid shear stress forces to ensure the integrity of a 3D endothelial lumen.

In this Teach Me in 10, researcher Ami Mehta will explain how her new BBB model can be used to study neuroinflammatory conditions with the potential to improve the study of drug transport into the brain.

Further Reading: 

  • Mehta et al., “Bio-mimicking brain vasculature to investigate
    the role of heterogeneous shear stress in regulating barrier integrity”,
    Advanced Biology (Accepted, in press)
  • Zhang W, Mehta A, Tong Z, Esser L, Voelcker NH. Development of Polymeric Nanoparticles for Blood-Brain Barrier Transfer-Strategies and Challenges. Adv Sci (Weinh). 2021;8(10):2003937.  doi:10.1002/advs.202003937