Bypassing the Brain’s Defensive Barrier

Monday, April 26, 2021

A defensive wall around the brain called the blood-brain barrier allows vital nutrients and oxygen into the brain while keeping out harmful substances. Unfortunately, the blood-brain barrier can also block beneficial chemicals from entering the brain, including some that might relieve the symptoms of certain diseases. Olive Jung, a graduate student in the Intramural Research Program at the National Institutes of Health, is building a three-dimensional structure that acts just like the blood-brain barrier. Her work could accelerate therapeutic development by allowing scientists to test whether new medications might be able to get through the real blood-brain barrier.