Human mini-blood–brain barrier models for biomedical neuroscience research: a review

Minh Tran, Chaejeong Heo, Luke P. Lee, Hansang Cho

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The human blood–brain barrier (BBB) is a unique multicellular structure that is in critical demand for fundamental neuroscience studies and therapeutic evaluation. Despite substantial achievements in creating in vitro human BBB platforms, challenges in generating specifics of physiopathological relevance are viewed as impediments to the establishment of in vitro models. In this review, we provide insight into the development and deployment of in vitro BBB models that allow investigation of the physiology and pathology of neurological therapeutic avenues. First, we highlight the critical components, including cell sources, biomaterial glue collections, and engineering techniques to reconstruct a miniaturized human BBB. Second, we describe recent breakthroughs in human mini-BBBs for investigating biological mechanisms in neurology. Finally, we discuss the application of human mini-BBBs to medical approaches. This review provides strategies for understanding neurological diseases, a validation model for drug discovery, and a potential approach for generating personalized medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Article number82
JournalBiomaterials Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


  • Blood–brain barrier
  • Human mini-brains
  • Neurological disorder
  • Personalized medicine


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