In Vitro Models of CNS Barriers

N Joan Abbott, Siti R. Yusof, Andreas Reichel, Diana E M Dolman, Jane E Preston*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In vitro models of the blood-brain barrier provide valuable mechanistic information and useful assay systems for drug discovery and delivery. However, it is important to take into account issues including species differences and to what extent features of the in vivo BBB are retained in cell culture. The history and applications of a primary cells, immortalized cell lines, and stem cell-derived BBB models are reviewed, with evaluation of their strengths and weaknesses, in selecting and optimizing a suitable model for particular applications. Understanding of the unstirred water layers gives insights into the “intrinsic permeability” of the membrane, and proteomic and transcriptomic studies have expanded the characterization of the barrier function. Technologies to derive brain endothelium from human stem cells create 3D models of the neurovascular unit, and miniaturize “organ-on-a-chip” flow systems give great promise for the future. All these technologies are crucial to translate BBB research to viable treatment options for patients.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAAPS Advances in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Series
Subtitle of host publicationPhysiological Concepts, Methodologies and Approaches
Editorsde Lange Elizabeth, Margareta Hammarlund-Udenaes, Robert Thorne
Place of PublicationUSA
PublisherSpringer, Cham
Number of pages44
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-88773-5
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-88772-8
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2022

Publication series

NameAAPS Advances in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Series
ISSN (Print)2210-7371
ISSN (Electronic)2210-738X


  • Blood-brain barrier
  • In vitro models
  • Endothelia
  • Astrocyte
  • Pericyte
  • TEER
  • Primary cells
  • bEND.3
  • hCMEC/D3
  • iPSC


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