Project Image:
Title of the project:
Microphysiological in vitro model of the blood-brain barrier with integrated microsensors
Project name:
Microphysiological in vitro model of the blood-brain barrier with integrated microsensors as in vivo close disease model for drug tests
Project leader:
Dr. Martin Stelzle
Project funding:
  • BW-Stiftung
Project management:
  • VDI Technologiezentrum GmbH
Funding reference number:

The development of methods for the integration of electrodes, electrochemical and optical microsensors for the measurement of metabolic and electrophysiological parameters and the subsequent research of a microfluidic in vitro disease model of the blood-brain barrier is the subject of this project.


The project aims at the investigation of 1) generically applicable microsystem technologies for the integration of electrical, electrochemical and optical sensors into microphysiological systems (organ-on-chip) in microtiter plate format and 2) the influence of precisely controllable pathological states with these sensors on the properties of an in vitro microfluidic model of the blood-brain-barrier (BBB) as an application example.
Microtechnology: Microsensors are integrated into optically transparent films (COP) with electrical through-plating and backside contacts. The foils are bonded onto a multiwell microfluidic system (TransBBB chip) available from preliminary work.
Cell biology: Endothelial cells, pericytes and astrocytes are placed on or in a functionalized gel in a microchannel and cultivated under perfusion. Transendothelial resistance, expression of tight junction proteins and permeability of the BBB are determined.
Expected results:
Generic microsystem technology for the integration of sensors into organ-on-chip systems
Disease model of the blood-brain barrier (e.g. hypoxia after stroke) to investigate the barrier properties under controlled pathological conditions.
Benefits. Technology platform for sensor technology:
Technology platform for sensor technology in organ-on-chip systems and scalability of the new technologies (chip in established standard format) and resulting integration capability of these organ-on-chip systems into existing workflows in cell biology and drug development. Versatile applicability and transferability to other organ models (connectivity).
Disease model of the blood-brain barrier for more realistic drug tests with the possibility of measuring effect parameters.