Human iPSC-Derived Blood-Brain Barrier Chips Enable Disease Modeling and Personalized Medicine Applications

Organ Model: Brain (BBB)

Application: Neuroscience

Abstract: The blood-brain barrier (BBB) tightly regulates the entry of solutes from blood into the brain and is disrupted in several neurological diseases. Using Organ-Chip technology, we created an entirely human BBB-Chip with induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived brain microvascular endothelial-like cells (iBMECs), astrocytes, and neurons. The iBMECs formed a tight monolayer that expressed markers specific to brain vasculature. The BBB-Chip exhibited physiologically relevant transendothelial electrical resistance and accurately predicted blood-to-brain permeability of pharmacologics. Upon perfusing the vascular lumen with whole blood, the microengineered capillary wall protected neural cells from plasma-induced toxicity. Patient-derived iPSCs from individuals with neurological diseases predicted disease-specific lack of transporters and disruption of barrier integrity. By combining Organ-Chip technology and human iPSC-derived tissue, we have created a neurovascular unit that recapitulates complex BBB functions, provides a platform for modeling inheritable neurological disorders, and advances drug screening, as well as personalized medicine.