Functional Neurovascular in-vitro Models

Microphysiological systems, also known as organ-on-a-chip, combine advances in microfluidics with biomimetic cell culture to emulate human organs or organ systems. They typically consist of two or more microfluidic compartments – allowing for application of biochemical and biophysical cues – each hosting a specific type or mix of cells, separated by permeable barriers to facilitate cellular communication. We are developing a new generation of microphysiological systems for the study of the NVU which incorporate three key advances:

  • Integrated sensors to directly monitor cellular health, function, and communication inside the system with unprecedented temporal resolution, shedding light on metabolic interactions as well as pharmacodynamics and -kinetics
  • Microfluidics made out of biocompatible and easy-to-fabricate materials to overcome limitations such as drug absorption and materials integration posed by the prevalent PDMS
  • Human iPS-derived cells to better approximate human-normal phenotypes compared to animal cells or cell lines and to avoid the issues in population purity and ethics associated with primary cells