Lily Takeuchi

Ph.D. Student
Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering
Joined in 2020.

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Research Summary

The identification of effective therapeutic approaches to treat neurological disorders has faced formidable challenges due to the lack of physiologically relevant platforms for drug discovery. Under normal physiological conditions, the blood-brain barrier (BBB) plays a homeostatic and protective role in the central nervous system, regulating the transport of key biomolecules while preventing the passage of toxins and pathogens. Unfortunately, these protective mechanisms pose challenges to accurate prediction of drug uptake and efficacy in vivo. To compound these issues, the BBB is implicated in several neurological disorders including neurodegenerative diseases, traumatic brain injury, and infections, which can alter barrier permeability and function. Factors such as biochemical cues generated from multi-cellular interactions and mechanical stimuli such as shear blood flow have been demonstrated to significantly impact the behavior and phenotype of brain endothelial cells that form the BBB. Microfluidic cell culture models, often referred to as “organ-on-a-chip” technology, have garnered widespread attention for the ability to realize these important microenvironmental cues and better recapitulate the in vivo condition. My research aims to investigate the development of a microfluidic blood-brain barrier model as a physiologically relevant and cost-effective platform for brain disease modelling and drug discovery.

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