The Use of Sensors in Blood-Brain Barrier-on-a-Chip Devices: Current Practice and Future Directions

András Kincses, Judit P. Vigh, Dániel Petrovszki, Sándor Valkai, Anna E. Kocsis, Fruzsina R. Walter, Hung Yin Lin, Jeng Shiung Jan, Mária A. Deli, András Dér

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The application of lab-on-a-chip technologies in in vitro cell culturing swiftly resulted in improved models of human organs compared to static culture insert-based ones. These chip devices provide controlled cell culture environments to mimic physiological functions and properties. Models of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) especially profited from this advanced technological approach. The BBB represents the tightest endothelial barrier within the vasculature with high electric resistance and low passive permeability, providing a controlled interface between the circulation and the brain. The multi-cell type dynamic BBB-on-chip models are in demand in several fields as alternatives to expensive animal studies or static culture inserts methods. Their combination with integrated biosensors provides real-time and noninvasive monitoring of the integrity of the BBB and of the presence and concentration of agents contributing to the physiological and metabolic functions and pathologies. In this review, we describe built-in sensors to characterize BBB models via quasi-direct current and electrical impedance measurements, as well as the different types of biosensors for the detection of metabolites, drugs, or toxic agents. We also give an outlook on the future of the field, with potential combinations of existing methods and possible improvements of current techniques.

Original languageEnglish
Article number357
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Mar

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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