The blood–brain barrier (BBB) is a double-edged sword. This cellular interface aids to maintain an optimum and constant environment for neuronal function via a combination of barriers and selective transport systems that regulate the passage of wanted and unwanted molecules. Consequently, it presents a formidable challenge to medicine because it stops most drugs from passing from the bloodstream to the brain. Understanding the cellular physiology of BBB would provide a platform for exploiting the mechanisms involved in improving the therapeutic effectiveness of drugs and/or helping in the treatment of a wide-range of pathologies.
The lattice light-sheet microscope (LLSM) allows to image entire cells with high three- dimensional resolution, at a sub-second time interval, while maintaining very low phototoxicity and photobleaching. As a starting point to understand how to increase the transport of biologicals, we are using the LLSM to study the trans- BBB traffic of fluorescently labeled proteins and antibodies using in-vitro grown blood vessel co-cultured with endothelial and glial cells to make a custom-made BBB on chip that would be suitable for the LLSM imaging.
Research Lecturer, University of Oxford, UK