Development of a microfluidic blood-brain barrier model for drug screening and testing

“Poor efficacy and unpredictable toxic effects are leading causes of removal of a drug from the market. Many drugs act unpredictably in patients because they are tested in labs using cells grown in plastic dishes and animals that poorly mimic humans. Laboratory models that better mimic the behaviour of human tissues in the body could improve the efficacy and efficiency of the drug discovery process, ultimately improving human health.The Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative (CCRM) and its consortium of pharmaceutical company partners have identified the blood-brain barrier (BBB) as a prime target for improved modeling and therapies because BBB breakdown leads to neurodegenerative diseases, the BBB is a barrier to delivery of drugs to treat neurological conditions, and current models poorly mimic the BBB in the body.In this project, we aim to deliver the best-in-class BBB model using our microfluidic platform technology and human pluripotent stem cells. This model will be uniquely compatible with standard laboratory equipment and high-throughput workflow, ensuring ease of adoption by end users. To facilitate CCRM’s goal of commercializing the technology, we will field test the platform at CCRM partner sites and research the business case to create a commercialization plan.”

Faculty Supervisor:

Craig Simmons


Carl Persson


University of Toronto


Engineering - biomedical


Life sciences




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