In vitro model

Development of a new in vitro model of the air-blood-barrier

The so-called air-blood-barrier, which is built by the alveolar epithelium of the lung, is crucial for the pulmonary delivery of drugs. However, it also plays an important role in the context of aerosol transmitted infectious diseases as for instance the swine flu or tuberculosis.

To mimic the in vivo situation several in vitro cell models such as tumour cells or primary cells from an animal origin are available. Unfortunately, most of these models lack biological relevance due to impaired barrier properties. Primary human cells reflect the in vivo situation best, but they are not available in sufficient amounts and their isolation procedure is time-consuming and costly.

Hence, we are developing a new cell line in order to establish a non-tumour derived in vitro model with intact barrier properties. This approach will help to elucidate infection pathways across the respiratory tract and to facilitate the discovery of drug compounds capable of treating these diseases.

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