Advance Your 3D Blood-Brain Barrier Chips By Elevating Biological Relevance of Your Cells

3D modeling of the blood-brain barrier in a microfluidic chip using human primary cells has shed light onto how different types of brain cells can independently affect the brain’s response to neuroinflammation. As a more physiologically relevant model, this BBB-chip can be a new promising tool for understanding the brain.   

In this study, different combinations of brain cell types are co-cultured in a microvessel-shaped collagen gel. Neuroinflammation is stimulated by TNF-α and responses were then measured based on cytokine release profiles.

For enhanced biological relevance, Cell Systems Primary Human Brain Pericytes (cat#. ACBRI 498) and Primary Human Brain Microvascular Endothelial Cells (hBMVEC) (cat#. ACRI 376) are used and seeded sequentially such that the pericytes are embedded beneath the endothelium of the microvessel. Primary brain astrocytes, seeded in the surrounding gel, are also co-cultured with hBMVEC in a different set up.

Because of its use of primary cells, which are derived directly from human tissues, and its physiologically-resembling 3D architecture, this BBB-chip boasts more relevant insights than static Transwell co-cultures or models that use immortalized cells or animal cells.

The secretion of inflammatory cytokines granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and interleukin-6 (IL-6) after TNF-α stimulation in the presented 3D model increases significantly more than in the Transwell co-cultures, thus suggesting that this BBB-chip is a more advantageous option.

Cell Systems prioritizes biological relevance to enable real human insights. All of Cell Systems’ human primary cells are uniquely isolated without antibody labels to preserve the primary cells’ truest properties. Our healthy cells have high cell count and high viability. For the consistency and reproducibility of your experiments, our deep inventory can provide the same cells for the duration of your research program. For more BBB-related studies, check out our citations for Cell Systems Primary Human Brain Microvascular Endothelial Cells (ACBRI 376) and Primary Human Brain Pericytes (ACBRI 498).


From Herland and van der Meer et al. (2016) PLoS ONE 11(3): e0150360.


Older Post