Dr. Nicole Pleschka

Research project

Development of 3D vascularized barrier models for degenerative disease investigation

The Ph.D. project involves the establishment of 3D vascularized human barrier models in the organ-on-a-chip system vasQchip. The focus is the reconstruction of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) ​​and the inner blood-retinal barrier (iBRB). The development of these models includes the differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC) into neurons for the BBB, as well as the characterization of a suitable ECM-like support matrix by using hydrogels for three-dimensional cultivation in the vasQchip. In the long term, these established models may enable more efficient drug development against Parkinson's or diabetic retinopathy and the associated reduction in animal testing.