Advances in Microfluidic Blood–Brain Barrier (BBB) Models

Arianna Oddo, Bo Peng, Ziqiu Tong, Yingkai Wei, Wing Yin Tong, Helmut Thissen, Nicolas Hans Voelcker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Therapeutic options for neurological disorders currently remain limited. The intrinsic complexity of the brain architecture prevents potential therapeutics from reaching their cerebral target, thus limiting their efficacy. Recent advances in microfluidic technology and organ-on-chip systems have enabled the development of a new generation of in vitro platforms that can recapitulate complex in vivo microenvironments and physiological responses. In this context, microfluidic-based in vitro models of the blood–brain barrier (BBB) are of particular interest as they provide an innovative approach for conducting research related to the brain, including modeling of neurodegenerative diseases and high-throughput drug screening. Here, we present the most recent advances in BBB-on-chip devices and examine validation steps that will strengthen their future applications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1295-1314
Number of pages20
JournalTrends in Biotechnology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019


  • blood–brain barrier
  • brain disorders
  • drug screening
  • in vitro models
  • microfluidics
  • organ-on-chip

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