The intrinsic architecture and complexity of the brain restricts the capacity of therapeutic molecules to reach their potential targets, thereby limiting therapeutic possibilities concerning neurological ailments and brain malignancy. As conventional models fail to recapitulate the complexity of the brain, progress in the field of microfluidics has facilitated the development of advanced in vitro platforms that could imitate the in vivo microenvironments and pathological features of the blood−brain barrier (BBB). It is highly desirous that developed in vitro BBB-on-chip models serve as a platform to investigate cancer metastasis of the brain along with the possibility of efficiently screening chemotherapeutic agents against brain malignancies. In order to improve the proficiency of BBB-on-chip models, hydrogels have been widely explored due to their unique physical and chemical properties, which mimic the three-dimensional (3D) micro architecture of tissues. Hydrogel-based BBB-on-chip models serves as a stage which is conducive for cell growth and allows the exchange of gases and nutrients and the removal of metabolic wastes between cells and the cell/extra cellular matrix (ECM) interface. Here, we present recent advancements in BBB-on-chip models targeting brain malignancies and examine the utility of hydrogel-based BBB models that could further strengthen the future application of microfluidic devices in oncology research.
- blood–brain barrier