About Flocel

The transition from 2D to 3D cell culture techniques is an important step in a trend towards more predictive tissue models. Use of controlled tissue perfusion parameters and geometry of cellular growth patterns have greatly enhanced the significance of “organ-on-a-chip” models. While microfluidic tools have led to development of sophisticated miniaturized cell culture models, these still coexist with larger scale constructs. Thus, a versatile pump system is necessary to cover the needs of researchers using differently scaled models.

Flocel also offers an array of testing and consulting services related to BBB permeability and the diagnosis of BBB disruption in patients or athletes. To learn more about our testing services, click here.

Introduction to the Blood-Brain Barrier

The blood-brain barrier (BBB) explains why certain substances circulating in the blood are able to get into the brain and others do not. The BBB is formed by brain capillaries that look like simple tubes of endothelial cells. Experimental and clinical evidence suggests that the BBB maintains the chemical environment for neuronal function and protects the brain from harmful substances. The blood-brain barrier is therefore crucial for complex issues such as drug delivery, pathogenesis of chronic neurological diseases, and issues related to bio-defense. We have developed a practical in vitro model that accurately reflects BBB characteristics.

Benefits of Flocel’s in vitro BBB Model

In contrast to other available models of the blood-brain barrier, Flocel's Dynamic In vitro Blood-Brain Barrier (DIV-BBB) respects the anatomical aspects of the in situ endothelial cell-astrocyte interactions and replicates the physiological levels of shear stress to which in situ endothelial cells are exposed. The DIV-BBB allows formation of physiological transendothelial resistance, and formation of gap junctions that can be easily visualized at the electron microscope or determined experimentally with the use of tracers.


Flocel Inc. is the first blood-brain barrier company in the US. It offers an array of preclinical tools to study and understand the blood-brain barrier and its function. Flocel also offers consulting services for research or clinical studies related to the BBB. These include but are not limited to drug delivery, alternatives to animal studies, non-invasive measurements of BBB function in human subjects and detection of concussions.  


Current Projects

A new dynamic In vitro modular capillaries-venules modular system: Cerebrovascular physiology in a box


A new dynamic In vitro modular capillaries-venules modular system: Cerebrovascular physiology in a box

The study of the cerebrovascular physiology is crucial to understand the pathogenesis of neurological disease and the pharmacokinetic of drugs. Appropriate models in vitro often come short in representing in vivo physiology. Essential for the resolution of this problem is a novel artificial vascular system that closely mimics the multiple segments of human cerebrovascular network and allows for an extensive control of the experimental variables and their manipulation. The unique characteristics afforded by the DIV-BBB in combination with a venule segment will realistically expand our ability to dissect and study the physiological and functional behavior of distinct segments of the human cerebrovascular network. This novel tool will provide a valuable instrument to facilitate the discovery of novel therapeutic strategies aimed at brain targets to reduce the burden of neurological disorders.

The DIV-BBB predicts CNS drug toxicity


The DIV-BBB predicts CNS drug toxicity

Drugs and their metabolites often produce undesirable effects. This may be due to a number of mechanisms including biotransformation by P450 enzymes. These are not exclusively endowed in hepatocytes since functional expression of metabolic enzymes was found at the drug resistant epileptic blood-brain barrier. The possibility thus exists that the potency of central nervous system therapeutics can be neutralized by a metabolic blood-brain barrier. Furthermore, metabolism of neurotherapeutics may lead to production of toxic compounds. Our published work demonstrates that the Flocel apparatus can predict how the blood-brain barrier transforms a given drug into potentially harmful metabolites.

S100B as a marker of BBB disruption 

S100B in psychiatric diseases

S100B and other markers of concussions

You can find all Flocel publications here.

You can find the Flocel Conflict of Interest policy here.