INL Cluster

Brain-on-a-chip as a preclinical model tool for the screening of theranostic nanoformulations for neurodegenerative diseases

Despite all the progress and effort that has been made in the last few decades regarding the research on neurodegenerative diseases, the complexity of the human brain and the low efficiency of drugs that can cross the brain-blood-barrier (BBB), have halted significant breakthroughs in neurosciences. Motivated by the lack of an appropriate in vitro model to study brain-targeting nanocarriers, the aim of BrainChip4MED is to develop an advanced microfluidic preclinical tool to recapitulate the structural and functional aspects of the human brain tissue and BBB, using brain-on-a-chip (BoC) technology, to assess and study possible alternatives for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). This breakthrough vision will be accomplished by exploring for the first time a novel and multidisciplinary strategy, where chemistry-, engineering- and biology-based approaches will be combined for the creation of a robust microfluidic 3D brain-model, combined with multiplexed biosensor system, for real-time screening of new nanotechnologically-designed drug BBB-targeting nanocarriers. In order to pursue this project, the researcher will carry out the outgoing phase at HMS/BWH – Harvard Medical School/Brigham and Women’s Hospital (USA), pioneer in the development of organon- a-chip (OoC) and biosensors, for a period of 12 months (WP1). The researcher will then return to INL – International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (Portugal), for the final 12 months (WP2 and WP3), where novel engineered nanoformulation will be developed and tested on the BoC prototype. With BrainChip4MED the researcher will greatly expand her scientific expertise in the fields of OoC and nanotechnology, positioning her as a leading independent researcher, bridging the worlds of engineering and medicine. At the same time, BrainChip4MED has great outreach for academia and pharmaceutical research, contributing to the advancement of nanomedicine and neurosciences in Europe and beyond.

Total Eligible Budget

156,540.00 €

INL Eligible Budget

156,540.00 €

Total Funding

156,540.00 €

INL Funding

156,540.00 €

Start Date


End Date


Type of action

Global Fellowships

Grant Agreement Id



Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions

Funding Framework


INL Role

Host Institution

Approval Date


Main Objective

Excellent Science