• Project Title: Improving the Treatment of Alzheimer's Disease through Ultrasonic Disruption of the Blood-Brain Barrier

  • BASIS Advisor: Dr. Nancy Fisher

  • Internship Location: George Mason University Krasnow Institute

  • Onsite Mentor: Professor Robert J. Cressman

The purpose of this study is to determine whether ultrasonic treatment of Alzheimer’s disease can be improved. In particular, the research will examine the impact of endothelial cell dehydration on blood-brain barrier permeability. This dehydration will be fueled by ultrasound-induced polymer degradation around endothelial cell membranes. Since animal subjects will not be used, lab materials must replicate the body’s biological components. An artificial membrane will simulate the blood-brain barrier. Potential ultrasound-responsive polymers for experimentation include polyethylene oxide (PEO), polylactic acid (PLA), and citrus pectin. Changes in light intensity will be measured across the artificial blood-brain barrier to determine whether polymer degradation created osmotic pressure differences.