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3D bioprinting of vascular structures to model and study the role of the neurovascular unit in Stroke and Alzheimer's Disease

Grant number: 22/08664-4
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Post-Doctoral
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2022
Effective date (End): August 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Morphology - Cytology and Cell Biology
Principal Investigator:Marimélia Aparecida Porcionatto
Grantee:Geisa Rodrigues Salles
Host Institution: Escola Paulista de Medicina (EPM). Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP). Campus São Paulo. São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:18/12605-8 - Development of brain-on-a-chip microplataforms for in vitro modeling of the central nervous system, AP.TEM


Animal models are considered the gold standard for Blood-Brain-Barrier (BBB) function studies. Although the use of in vivo models has contributed significantly to the advancement of the physiopathology of diseases that affect the BBB, they are limited regarding physiological differences between humans and rodents. To solve this problem, in vitro models have been proposed and developed, but none of them can fully reproduce the complexity of the human BBB. The main limitation of 2D models used to mimic the BBB is that they do not capture the 3D nature of the barrier, including the close association of the lumen side of the endothelium with astrocytes and pericytes in the parenchyma side. New tissue bioengineering technologies, such as 3D bioprinting and microfluidics, may recreate an in vitro 3D microenvironment that can be used as a model for the BBB, thus reproducing the neurovascular unit. This proposal aims to bioprint a vascularized cerebral tissue to model the relations between cerebral parenchyma and blood through the BBB, particularly in the neurovascular unit. (AU)

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