CNLAB FOR BIOMODELING
MODELING OF HEALTHY BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER
The development of realistic in vitro blood-brain barrier (BBB) models that recapitulate the physiological parameters and molecular aspect of the neurovascular unit (NVU) is of fundamental importance not only in CNS drug discovery but also in translational research. We have different BBB platforms, starting from unicellular models to advanced multicellular models of functional BBB in vitro. We are also working on advanced 3D printing technologies for engineering BBB models, which use is now fast expanding among researchers.
MODELING OF DISEASED BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER
The development of in vitro blood-brain barrier (BBB) models mimicking the main alteration of BBB identified in patients affected by Alzheimer's disease is a key aspect for drug discovery. This is the aim of H2020-JPcoFUND project coordinated by CNLAB (JPND-COFUND_FP-829-031_2016-2019).
NanODISCS INSPIRED TO HUMAN DISCOIDAL LIPOPROTEINS (HDL)
Plasma levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and apoA-I, the major protein component of plasma HDL, inversely correlate with the development of many disorders, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, cancer, infectious diseases and neurodegenerative diseases. We recently found that apoA-I-based nanodiscs are able to cross the blood-brain barrier and strongly destabilize the conformation of amyloid aggregates, compared to spherical HDL. Our research aim is to develop a novel synthetic nanodiscs as drug delivery systems bio-inspired to physiological discoidal HDL.
Co-culture in vitro model of BBB and Glioblastoma
The development of an in vitro model for the co-culture of BBB and glioblastoma (GBM) cell models are pivotal in reproducing, in a simplified way, the main features of a brain tumour. These models play an important role in the investigation of the efficacy of nanoparticles on GBM cells, after BBB crossing.