A Better Model for the Blood-Brain Barrier

Current techniques for mimicking the Blood–Brain Barrier (BBB) largely use incubation chambers (Transwell) separated with a filter and matrix coating to represent and to study barrier permeability. These devices have several critical shortcomings:

  1. They do not reproduce critical microenvironmental parameters, primarily anatomical size or hemodynamic shear stress,
  2. They often do not provide real-time visualization capability, and
  3. They require a large amount of consumables.


To overcome these limitations, SynVivo have developed a microfluidic model of the Blood–Brain Barrier (SynVivo-BBB). The SynVivo-BBB platform permits the real-time visualization of both apical (cultured with endothelial cells) and basolateral side (cultured with neuronal cells) of the BBB mimicking the physiological shear and cell conditions observed in vivo.10x_stitch_merge909b80

Shown here are astrocytes cultured in the SynVivo-BBB device.

As a demonstration of the BBB assay, rat brain endothelial cells were cultured in SynVivo-BBB under physiological conditions.  Permeation studies and western blot analysis showed formation of tight junction molecules while transporter assays indicate a modulating and functional model of the BBB.

Full details can be found in the Lab-on-Chip journal paper: SyM-BBB: A Microfluidic Blood Brain Barrier Model.

To find out more about this new cell-based  microchip platform check out the manufacture page for SynVivo.


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