The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a physical barrier against pathogens, toxins, and viruses between the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS) and prevents pathogens and other harmful factors from passing through the barrier. The most important component of the BBB is the brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMECs), which are aligned between the brain and the bloodstream. Even when the BBB is disrupted by some disease-causing factors, it may not become permeable to many drugs. Since drug passage through the BBB is a challenge for drug delivery in the treatment of many brain diseases such as tumors, neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disorders, we aim to develop novel in vitro BBB models based on human cells using stem cell technologies on microfluidic systems. To achieve this goal, in this PURE program we will focus on the differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSCs) into human brain-like microvascular endothelial cells (hBMECs). The PURE intern will be trained in basic cell culture techniques to maintain hMSCs in order to differentiate them, as well as qPCR and immunostaining techniques to quantitatively and qualitatively characterize hBMEC differentiation. In this way, the intern will have the opportunity to learn some wet lab techniques and be able to perform these techniques themselves by entering the world of stem cell technology.
Faculty Department of Project Supervisor:
Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences
Number of Students: