Institute of Functional Interfaces

M.Sc. 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.