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In vitro model of the Blood Brain Barrier (BBB)

Analysing if and how molecules cross the blood brain barrier is fundamental to understanding neurological disease and the mechanisms of drug action. At IRBM we have developed a relevant and robust in vitro BBB model using brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMECs).

We use BMECs derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iBMECs) to generate BBB models that exhibit physiological barrier functions, such as high trans-endothelial electrical resistance (TEER) and expression of transporter proteins.

In our transwell system, iBMECs are seeded on the apical side and astrocytes are seeded on the underside of the insert. The system forms complex tight junctions with functional BBB markers (SLCs, ABC transporters and receptors).

Overall, the model provides a reliable and reproducible in vitro test for CNS penetration, whether it’s a small molecule, peptide, or antibody and demonstrates good corelation between BBB permeability and human Kpuu values for known drugs.

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