Employees – University of Copenhagen

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Department of Pharmacy > Employees

Hans Christian Cederberg Helms

Hans Christian Cederberg Helms

Assistant professor

Primary fields of research

The brain is protected by the skull and is submerged in in a fluid with a constant composition of nutrients and salts. The tight blood vessels of the brain form the blood-brain barrier, which regulates the entry of solutes to the brain fluid. This barrier poses a problem for the brain uptake of medicine from the blood since the cells are lined tightly together forming a seal and possess transport mechanisms to actively pump entruding compounds back to the blood. It is important to investigate if new medicinal compounds can enter the brain before entering expensive clinical trials, when designing drugs for treatment of brain diseases. This is normally investigated in animal studies. This research aims to develop and optimize an easier, cheaper and faster alternative in the form of an in vitro cell model of the blood-brain barrier. This has previously been attempted without success, where especially the physical tightness between the cells has been lacking. At present, we have established a cell model based on cells isolated from blood vessels from calf brains. Optimization of the culture conditions has led to a model with tightness close to the human blood-brain barrier. This model is now utilized in several studies with the aims to investigate different aspects of the blood-brain barrier including how different drug compounds can be designed to cross the barrier.

Teaching

Co-supervisor on masters thesis projects concerning the blood-brain barrier

Bachelors project in pharmaci: Supersing students during development, manufacture and analysis of different drug formulations

Project forskerspire: Research for high school students participating in the national project "forskerspire" on projects concerning the blood-brain barrier.

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