The need for human-relevant systems that can recreate key aspects of brain physiology and pathophysiology is being driven by the challenges of using the currently available animal models for translational research. An improved understanding of the neurovascular unit function and its alterations in disease should lead to new strategies for therapeutic intervention in neurological and neurodegenerative disorders. Here we present a human Brain-Chip system engineered to recapitulate critical aspects of the complex neurovascular unit. Our human organotypic microphysiological system includes endothelial cells, pericytes, glia, and neurons and maintains blood-brain barrier permeability at in vivo relevant levels.
You will also hear from the Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute on how they have created an induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) derived model of the human gut-brain axis and are beginning to use this platform to interrogate the contribution of various gut microbes and microbial metabolites in promoting CNS disease pathology. Progress in developing a blood-brain barrier (BBB)-Chip and an Intestine-Chip from iPSCs which recapitulate several in vivo molecular functions and can be fluidically linked to simulate the gut-brain axis will be presented.