The secret to better blood-brain barrier models

Permeability. That’s the core challenge of studying drugs in the blood-brain barrier. Blood vessels inside the human brain include complex layers of endothelia, pericytes, astrocyes and more insulating their contents from all that grey matter—and for good reason, of course. Not just any chemical that makes its way into the bloodstream should have a free ride straight to the brain. Unfortunately, this does pose a challenge for developing drugs that target the brain—making sure it can actually get to the brain in the first place.

Probing this fundamental criterion in a drug’s viability is notoriously difficult, and researchers have long relied on complex in vivo animal models for these data. Unfortunately, of drug candidates that pass their expensive animal studies, the eighty-percent failure rate in humans speaks to the shortcomings in this approach. At the end of the day, a rat is not a human.

Modeling the blood-brain barrier in vitro

That’s why at AIM, we say that human data can’t wait until clinical trials. We believe a faster turnaround on data that’s more clinically relevant—without a need to turn to animals to test every variable—leads to results that are not only more efficient, but more predictive.

Picture a cost-effective way to properly model the blood-brain barrier in a lab using real human endothelial cells, pericytes, and astrocytes. Picture an in vitro model with comparable BBB permeability to in vivo rat models. An in vitro model that can upregulate gene expression in several BBB-specific membrane transporters and receptors—P-GP, MRP1, MRP4, LRP1, GLUT-1, and more. Such a model would change the name of the game, and this is what AIM’s blood-brain barrier contract research services can offer your lab. Our advanced, three-dimensional in vitro human models use real human tissue to save you the time and effort, and get you data that better predicts what you might expect in a clinical trial.

Run your next BBB study in our world-class lab

AIM’s partnership with the A*STAR Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology means that your study is run through a world-class facility, and the flexibility of our unique human-on-a-chip technology helps you stay on-budget. We can free up your own lab’s valuable resources, increase throughput, and work with you to develop custom assays to get you the most clinically relevant data on-time.

Sounds interesting? Get in touch, and let’s have a conversation about what AIM can do for you.