The blood-brain barrier — the filter that governs what can and cannot come into contact with the mammalian brain — is a marvel of nature. It effectively separates circulating blood from the fluid that bathes the brain, and it keeps out bacteria, viruses and other agents that could damage it.
But the barrier can be disrupted by disease, stroke and multiple sclerosis, for example, and also is a big challenge for medicine, as it can be difficult or impossible to get therapeutic molecules through the barrier to treat neurological disorders.
Now, however, the blood-brain barrier may be poised to give up
An exercise machine that helps stroke victims walk. An advanced technology for assessing the progress of prostate cancer. A faster process for making neural stem cells to investigate new treatments for injury and disease. A cheaper, more beautiful LED light bulb. A game to teach meditation.
These projects, and a dozen more, are beneficiaries of the first round of awards by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Discovery to Product, or D2P, program, which began operating in March. The 17 grants announced this week will support innovations in many fields of research at the university, from food engineering and medicine to stem