Engineering three-dimensional microenvironments towards in vitro disease models of the central nervous system.

08:00 EDT 9th April 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Engineering three-dimensional microenvironments towards in vitro disease models of the central nervous system."

The central nervous system (CNS) has a highly complex biophysical and biochemical environment. Despite decades of intensive research, it is still an enormous challenge to restore its functions and regenerate lost or damaged CNS tissues. Current treatment strategies remain sub-optimal because of (1) the hostile microenvironment created post CNS injury, and (2) insufficient understanding of the pathophysiology of acute and chronic CNS diseases. Two-dimensional (2D) in vitro models have provided tremendous insights into a wide range of cellular interactions. However, they fail to recapitulate the complex cellular, topographical, biochemical, and mechanical stimuli found within the natural three-dimensional (3D) CNS. Also, the growing ethical needs to use fewer animals for research further necessitates 3D in vitro models to mimic all or part of the CNS. In this review, we critically appraise the status quo and design considerations of 3D in vitro neural disease and injury models that resemble in vivo conditions. This review mainly focuses on the most recent advances in tissue engineering techniques such as microfluidics, organs-on-a-chip and stem cell technology. Furthermore, we review recent models aiming to elucidate the underlying pathophysiology of CNS diseases. If armed with deeper understanding, it will be possible to develop high-throughput drug screening platforms and new treatments for CNS diseases and injuries.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Biofabrication
ISSN: 1758-5090


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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

Methods and techniques used to modify or select cells and develop conditions for growing cells for biosynthetic production of molecules (METABOLIC ENGINEERING), for generation of tissue structures and organs in vitro (TISSUE ENGINEERING), or for other BIOENGINEERING research objectives.

Theoretical representations that simulate the behavior or activity of biological processes or diseases. For disease models in living animals, DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL is available. Biological models include the use of mathematical equations, computers, and other electronic equipment.

Three-dimensional representation to show anatomic structures. Models may be used in place of intact animals or organisms for teaching, practice, and study.

Statistical models which describe the relationship between a qualitative dependent variable (that is, one which can take only certain discrete values, such as the presence or absence of a disease) and an independent variable. A common application is in epidemiology for estimating an individual's risk (probability of a disease) as a function of a given risk factor.

Procedures by which protein structure and function are changed or created in vitro by altering existing or synthesizing new structural genes that direct the synthesis of proteins with sought-after properties. Such procedures may include the design of MOLECULAR MODELS of proteins using COMPUTER GRAPHICS or other molecular modeling techniques; site-specific mutagenesis (MUTAGENESIS, SITE-SPECIFIC) of existing genes; and DIRECTED MOLECULAR EVOLUTION techniques to create new genes.

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