In vivo monitoring of brain pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics with cerebral open flow microperfusion

Publikation aus Health

Thomas Altendorfer-Kroath, Joanna Hummer , Thomas Birngruber

Biopharmaceutics & Drug Disposition , 1/2023


In vivo investigation of brain pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics (PK/PD) is an integral part of neurological drug development. However, drugs intended to act in the brain may reach it at very low concentrations due to the protective effect of the blood–brain barrier (BBB). Consequently, very sensitive measurement methods are required to investigate PK/PD of drugs in the brain. Also, these methods must be capable of continuously assessing cerebral drug concentrations with verifiable intact BBB, as disrupted BBB may lead to compound efflux from blood into brain and to biased results. To date, only a few techniques are available that can sensitively measure drug concentrations in the brain over time; one of which is cerebral open flow microperfusion (cOFM). cOFM's key features are that it enables measurement of cerebral compound concentrations with intact BBB, induces only minor tissue reactions, and that no scar formation occurs around the probe. The membrane-free cOFM probes collect diluted cerebral interstitial fluid (ISF) samples that are containing the whole molecule spectrum of the ISF. Further, combining cOFM with an in vivo calibration protocol (e.g. Zero Flow Rate) enables absolute quantification of compounds in cerebral ISF. In general, three critical aspects have to be considered when measuring cerebral drug concentrations and recording PK/PD profiles with cOFM: (a) the BBB integrity during sampling, (b) the status of the brain tissue next to the cOFM probe during sampling, and (c) the strategy to absolutely quantify drugs in cerebral ISF. This work aims to review recent applications of cOFM for PK/PD assessment with a special focus on these critical aspects.