Drugs targeting the brain typically have to cross the blood-brain barrier. But before drugs enter the brain, they are usually processed and metabolized by the liver. The continuous flow of drugs and their active metabolites from the liver to the brain is crucial to assess cytotoxicity in either or both organs.
The liver and brain are implicated in a number of inflammation pathways, but static, two-dimensional culture models are unable to facilitate the live organ-brain crosstalk. In addition, drugs tested on these models do not follow the physiological flow of drug compounds and metabolites from liver to brain, possibly impacting pharmacological activity.
Dynamic, three-dimensional models, like organ chips, that can recreate the flow of drugs from metabolism in the liver to passing the BBB and targeting the brain are crucial for drug development. The pharmacokinetic activity of drugs can be studied in real time as the compounds, and their active metabolites circulate through the organs.