Diffusion Rates Across the Blood-Brain Barrier

The blood-brain barrier is a semipermeable membrane that separates the brain from the capillaries that pass through it. A relevant question in medical technology is the rate at which drugs are able to pass through this barrier, which subsequently informs studies in pharmacology and physiology. The Demonstration illustrates a series of structural variables applied to the cells in a simulated human brain. The comparative rates of diffusion in a variety of biologically active compounds were found by applying an integrated form of Fick's Law, given by
where is the concentration of the compound in the brain, is the concentration of the compound in the capillaries, is the diffusion coefficient, is the blood-brain barrier surface area, is the thickness and is the volume of the brain.



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[1] L. Cucullo, M. Hossain, E. Rapp, T. Manders, N. Marchi and D. Janigro, "Development of a Humanized In Vitro Blood-Brain Barrier Model to Screen for Brain Penetration of Antiepileptic Drugs," Epilepsia, 48(3), 2007 pp. 505–516.
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[3] V. A. Levin, "Relationship of Octanol/Water Partition Coefficient and Molecular Weight to Rat Brain Capillary Permeability," Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 23(6), 1980 pp. 682–684.
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[5] H. van de Waterbeemd, G. Camenisch, G. Folkers, J. R. Chretien and O. A. Raevsky, "Estimation of Blood-Brain Barrier Crossing of Drugs Using Molecular Size and Shape, and H-Bonding Descriptors," Journal of Drug Targeting, 6(2), 1998 pp. 151–165.
[6] A. D. Wong, M. Ye, A. F. Levy, J. D. Rothstein, D. E. Bergles and P. Searson, "The Blood-Brain Barrier: An Engineering Perspective" Frontiers in Neuroengineering, 6(7), 2013.
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