Prashant Hariharan

Prashant Hariharan, a Ph.D. candidate at Wayne State University, has received IFER funding from 2020-2021 for his project, “Engineering human choroid plexus-on-a-chip as a non-animal model to advance the understanding of how hydrocephalus alters normal CSF secretion.” The goal of Prashant’s project is to develop a human-relevant in vitro model to study hydrocephalus, the build-up of fluids in the cavities of the brain. In individuals afflicted with hydrocephalus, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) accumulates in brain ventricles, causing increased pressure in those areas, as well as mental decline if the condition isn’t treated. Current treatments involve surgical interventions, which have high failure rates over time. There is a need to develop drug-based therapies, but this has not been successful, because researchers need a good understanding of how CSF is secreted in the brain. This project seeks to create an organ-on-a-chip model of choroid plexus tissue, which forms the blood-CSF barrier, to better understand the mechanisms of CSF secretion, replace animal models used in this line of research, and develop a human-relevant model for drug screening.