As the interface between the vasculature and the central nervous system (CNS), the blood-brain barrier (BBB), composed of brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMECs), plays a crucial role in maintaining the health of the CNS but hinders drug delivery. Accordingly, in vitro modeling of the BBB has been and continues to be of great interest to scientists studying neurological diseases and developing therapeutics that must be delivered to the brain. The establishment of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived BMECs (iBMECs) has addressed a major challenge of in vitro modeling of the BBB by providing a scalable source of BMECs that have key features of the in vivo BBB and facilitate disease-in-a-dish and BBB-on-a-chip applications. As researchers seek to augment the applicability of iBMECs for various studies, models involving iBMECs can be improved by integrating more elements of the in vivo BBB microenvironment.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the University of Minnesota and the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (H.S.S.; grant number 00039202 ).
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