3D model of blood-brain barrier to study cerebral malaria pathology
Malaria is a major public health concern with more than 400 000 deaths per year. Cerebral malaria (CM) is characterised by sequestration of infected red blood cells in the brain microvasculature, blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption and brain swelling, resulting in high mortality. The EU-funded Mal3D-BBB project aims to model the human CM pathology with cutting-edge in vitro bioengineering approaches. The researchers will develop BBB models with 3D microfluidic networks that incorporate multiple cell types: brain microvascular endothelial cells, astrocytes and pericytes. The developed platform aims to recreate physiological BBB permeability rates, and will be used to understand the molecular mechanisms of BBB disruption after P. falciparum sequestration, and whether parasite and host factors synergise to increase pathology.
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