Micro-engineered cell culture models, so-called Organs-on-Chips have emerged as a new tool to recapitulate human physiology and drug responses. Multiple studies and research programs have shown that Organ-on-Chips can recapitulate the multicellular architectures, vascular-parenchymal tissue interfaces, chemical gradients, mechanical cues, and vascular perfusion of the body can produce levels of tissue and organ functionality, as well as mimicry of human disease states, which are not possible with conventional 2D or 3D culture systems. Here we exploit the micro-engineering technology in a novel system-level approach to disintegrate the functions and coupling of neurovascular unit in to its individual cellular compartments while keeping the paracellular metabolic coupling.
We are interested in developing the next generation Organs-on-a-Chip to enable better understanding of human physiology and drug development
The brain is one of the most complex organs in the human body. It composed from many layers and scales of complexities. The close-packed multi-cellular NVU regulates the dynamic influx and efflux of nutrients, metabolites and drugs between the systemic blood circulation and the CNS, and thereby controls brain homeostasis. Neuronal function relies on the complex interplay between molecular transport and metabolic activities within all cell populations of the NVU, and deregulation of NVU integrity results in rapid changes in brain function. To understand neuropathological states, it is therefore critical to map cell-cell interactions throughout the NVU.
We are interested in identifying and understanding the cell-cell interaction is homeostasis and disease throughout the NVU
Traumatic Brain Injury
Concussion, a term commonly used to describe a mild or moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI) to the brain, is a public health crises with origins on the battlefield, athletic venues, and automobiles with three point safety belts. While concussions and brain injury are commonly considered to be the catalytic events in neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia, Alzheimers, and Parkinson’s, there are no dedicated medicinal therapeutics for treatment of concussion and little interest on the part of the pharma and biotech industries to engage in this area of research. This problem can be attributed to two issues: 1) a historical hypothesis that brain injury was due to neuronal cell death (so nothing left to treat with a drug) and 2) a lack of technologies for pharma and biotech to use to study and identify the cellular processes in concussion that could be targeted by drugs.
We are interested in unveiling the etiology and effects of TBI