abberior dyes & labels
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Modelling a Human Blood-Brain Barrier Co-Culture Using an Ultrathin Silicon Nitride Membrane-Based Microfluidic Device
Diana Hudecz, Molly C. McCloskey, Sandra Vergo, Søren Christensen, James L. McGrath and Morten S. Nielsen
Blood-Brain-Barrier, Microfluidic Device
Understanding the vesicular trafficking of receptors and receptor ligands in the brain capillary endothelium is essential for the development of the next generations of biologics targeting neurodegenerative diseases. Such complex biological questions are often approached by in vitro models in combination with various techniques. Here, we present the development of a stem cell-based human in vitro blood-brain barrier model composed of induced brain microvascular endothelial cells (iBMECs) on the modular µSiM (a microdevice featuring a silicon nitride membrane) platform. The µSiM was equipped with a 100 nm thick nanoporous silicon nitride membrane with glass-like imaging quality that allowed the use of high-resolution in situ imaging to study the intracellular trafficking. As a proof-of-concept experiment, we investigated the trafficking of two monoclonal antibodies (mAb): an anti-human transferrin receptor mAb (15G11) and an anti-basigin mAb (#52) using the µSiM-iBMEC-human astrocyte model. Our results demonstrated effective endothelial uptake of the selected antibodies; however, no significant transcytosis was observed when the barrier was tight. In contrast, when the iBMECs did not form a confluent barrier on the µSiM, the antibodies accumulated inside both the iBMECs and astrocytes, demonstrating that the cells have an active endocytic and subcellular sorting machinery and that the µSiM itself does not hinder antibody transport. In conclusion, our µSiM-iBMEC-human astrocyte model provides a tight barrier with endothelial-like cells, which can be used for high-resolution in situ imaging and for studying receptor-mediated transport and transcytosis in a physiological barrier.