Date

12-2010

Degree Name

BS in Biomedical Engineering

Department

Biomedical and General Engineering Department

Advisor(s)

Kristen Cardinal

Abstract

The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is responsible for maintaining the sensitive environment required by the brain. Although the BBB is necessary for proper functioning of the brain, it acts as an obstacle for doctors attempting to treat neurological disease. For a drug to act upon the brain, it must first pass through the discriminating BBB. For this reason, much research has been performed in recent years in order to create an in vitro model of the BBB on which drugs targeted for the central nervous system may be tested. The main goal of this project is to create an in vitro BBB model using both endothelial and glial cells, while my specific goals are to decide which techniques for characterization and analysis are best suited to our needs and resources as well as establish effective protocols for these techniques. To achieve these goals, several analysis techniques were chosen and protocols for three fluorescent assays were established. Although not a comprehensive method for characterization, these fluorescent assays allow for basic analysis of the system and act as a stepping-stone for future work.