Italian Institute of Technology Creates First Biohybrid Model of the Blood-Brain Barrier

February 14,2018

Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) close-up view of one 3D printed single tubular porous structure of the biomimetic microfluidic system.

Our customers at the Smart Bio Interfaces group of the Italian Institute of Technology in Pontedera (Pisa) created a real-scale device mimicking the blood-brain barrier using their Nanoscribe 3D printer Photonic Professional GT.

The device developed in this work consists of 3D printed artificial components and endothelial cells that form a bio-inspired microfluidic system. Many drugs that are aimed for treating brain diseases, e.g. Alzheimer’s or brain tumors, are not able to penetrate the blood-brain barrier which protects the brain from pathogens.

The results on this model are reported in the journal Small and aim to help researchers to test new therapeutic methods for improved drug delivery in order to treat brain disorders.

The 3D real-scale blood-brain barrier model consists of supporting polymer 3D-printed tubular structures and endothelial cells covering them and building a biological barrier.