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Drug delivery across the blood brain barrier

The challenge to drug discovery


Human iPSCs and the blood-brain challenge

Blood-brain barrier models are essential in disease modelling and drug discovery. iPSC-derived cells can be used to create low permeability in vitro models. These systems have the capacity to advance into highly sophisticated models.

The blood-brain barrier (BBB) is a highly selective barrier that separates the brain and spinal cord from the rest of the body, preventing the passage of many molecules, including drugs, into the central nervous system (CNS). This barrier is composed of tightly packed cells, known as endothelial cells, which form the walls of blood vessels in the brain and spinal cord. These cells are joined together by tight junctions that prevent the passage of large molecules and foreign substances into the CNS.

The BBB plays a crucial role in maintaining the homeostasis of the brain, but it also poses a major obstacle for the treatment of CNS disorders. Many drugs that are effective in treating diseases in other parts of the body are unable to cross the BBB, making it difficult to treat conditions such as brain tumors, Alzheimer’s disease, and Parkinson’s disease.

Learn more

Delsing, L., Herland, A., Falk, A., Hicks, R., Synnergren, J., & Zetterberg, H. (2020). Models of the blood-brain barrier using iPSC-derived cells. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, 107, 103533. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mcn.2020.103533