Physiology of the blood brain barrier (BBB) and mechanisms of transport across the BBB

Katerina Lalatsa, Arthur Butt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The blood-brain barrier (BBB) remains a formidable challenge in the treatment of neurological diseases and cancers limiting the permeability of therapeutics and preventing them from reaching their targets in effective concentrations. The BBB, formed at the level of the endothelial cells of the cerebral capillaries by two plasma membranes in series, differs from capillaries in in the periphery by increased mitochondrial content, a lack of fenestrations, minimal pinocytotic activity, and the presence of tight junctions. The endothelial cells are surrounded by pericytes and astroglial foot processes, forming a continuous anatomical and enzymatic barrier. Understanding the physiology of the BBB and mechanism of permeation across the BBB is critical in overcoming this bottleneck in development and in designing effective and safe treatments for the rising number of patients suffering from neurological diseases and cancers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNanotechnology-based Targeted Drug Delivery Systems for Brain Tumors
EditorsPrashant Kesharwani, Umesh Gupta
ISBN (Electronic)978-0128122495
ISBN (Print)978-0128122181
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2018


  • Blood-brain Barrier, Physiology, Passive Diffusion, Carrier Mediated Endocytosis, Receptor Mediated Endocytosis, Adosptive Mediated Endocytosis


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