The development of therapeutic substances to treat diseases of the central nervous system is hampered by the tightness and selectivity of the blood-brain barrier. Moreover, testing of potential drugs is time-consuming and cost-intensive.
We established a new microfluidically supported, biochip-based model of the brain endothelial barrier in combination with brain cortical spheroids suitable to detect effects of neuroinflammation upon disruption of the endothelial layer in response to inflammatory signals. The endothelial barrier/cortex model is suitable to specifically reflect cytokine-induced effects on barrier integrity and to uncover damage and impairment of cortical tissue development and viability.
The model represents a novel tool to study cross-communication between the brain endothelial barrier and underlying cortical tissue that can be utilized for toxicity and drug screening studies focusing on inflammation and developmental neocortex formation.