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Development of Microplatforms to Mimic the In Vivo Architecture of CNS and PNS Physiology and Their Diseases

1
Biomedical Engineering Program, American University of Beirut (AUB), Beirut 1107 2020, Lebanon
2
Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Science, King Abdulaziz University (KAU), Jeddah 21589, Saudi Arabia
3
Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Lebanese University, Beirut 6573/14, Lebanon
4
Department of Anatomy, Cell Biology and Physiological Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, American University of Beirut (AUB), Beirut 1107 2020, Lebanon
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2018, 9(6), 285; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes9060285
Received: 30 April 2018 / Revised: 28 May 2018 / Accepted: 31 May 2018 / Published: 6 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue From the Lab-on-a-Chip to the Organ-on-a-Chip)
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Abstract

Understanding the mechanisms that govern nervous tissues function remains a challenge. In vitro two-dimensional (2D) cell culture systems provide a simplistic platform to evaluate systematic investigations but often result in unreliable responses that cannot be translated to pathophysiological settings. Recently, microplatforms have emerged to provide a better approximation of the in vivo scenario with better control over the microenvironment, stimuli and structure. Advances in biomaterials enable the construction of three-dimensional (3D) scaffolds, which combined with microfabrication, allow enhanced biomimicry through precise control of the architecture, cell positioning, fluid flows and electrochemical stimuli. This manuscript reviews, compares and contrasts advances in nervous tissues-on-a-chip models and their applications in neural physiology and disease. Microplatforms used for neuro-glia interactions, neuromuscular junctions (NMJs), blood-brain barrier (BBB) and studies on brain cancer, metastasis and neurodegenerative diseases are addressed. Finally, we highlight challenges that can be addressed with interdisciplinary efforts to achieve a higher degree of biomimicry. Nervous tissue microplatforms provide a powerful tool that is destined to provide a better understanding of neural health and disease. View Full-Text
Keywords: organ-on-a-chip; nervous tissues; cell co-cultures; blood-brain barrier; neurodegenerative diseases; brain cancer; metastasis organ-on-a-chip; nervous tissues; cell co-cultures; blood-brain barrier; neurodegenerative diseases; brain cancer; metastasis
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Saliba, J.; Daou, A.; Damiati, S.; Saliba, J.; El-Sabban, M.; Mhanna, R. Development of Microplatforms to Mimic the In Vivo Architecture of CNS and PNS Physiology and Their Diseases. Genes 2018, 9, 285.

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