An image-based framework for the analysis of the murine microvasculature: from tissue clarification to computational hemodynamics
Santiago Mañosas 1,Aritz Sanz 1ORCID,Cristina Ederra 2,Ainhoa Urbiola 2,Elvira Rojas-de-Miguel 1,3,4ORCID,Ainhoa Ostiz 1,3,4ORCID,Iván Cortés-Domínguez 2,3ORCID,Natalia Ramírez 1,3,4ORCID,Carlos Ortíz-de-Solórzano 2,3,5ORCID,Arantxa Villanueva 1,3ORCID andMauro Malvè 1,6,*ORCID
The blood–brain barrier is a unique physiological structure acting as a filter for every molecule reaching the brain through the blood. For this reason, an effective pharmacologic treatment supplied to a patient by systemic circulation should first be capable of crossing the barrier.
Standard cell cultures (or those based on microfluidic devices) and animal models have been used to study the human blood–brain barrier. Unfortunately, these tools have not yet reached a state of maturity because of the complexity of this physiological process aggravated by a high heterogeneity that is not easily recapitulated experimentally.
In fact, the extensive research that has been performed and the preclinical trials carried out provided sometimes contradictory results, and the functionality of the barrier function is still not fully understood. In this study, we have combined tissue clarification, advanced microscopy and image analysis to develop a one-dimensional computational model of the microvasculature hemodynamics inside the mouse brain.
This model can provide information about the flow regime, the pressure field and the wall shear stress among other fluid dynamics variables inside the barrier.
Although it is a simplified model of the cerebral microvasculature, it allows a first insight on into the blood–brain barrier hemodynamics and offers several additional possibilities to systematically study the barrier microcirculatory processes.