blood-brain barrier

[bluhd-breyn]
noun Physiology.
  1. a layer of tightly packed cells that make up the walls of brain capillaries and prevent substances in the blood from diffusing freely into the brain: passage across the cell membranes is determined by solubility in the lipid bilayer or recognition by a transport molecule.

Origin of blood-brain barrier

First recorded in 1940–45
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

blood-brain barrier in Medicine

blood-brain barrier

n.
  1. A physiological mechanism that alters the permeability of brain capillaries so that some substances, such as certain drugs, are prevented from entering brain tissue, while other substances are allowed to enter freely.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

blood-brain barrier in Science

blood-brain barrier

  1. A physiological mechanism that alters the permeability of capillaries in the brain, so that some substances, such as certain drugs, are prevented from entering brain tissue, while other substances are allowed to enter freely.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

blood-brain barrier in Culture

blood-brain barrier

The separation of the brain, which is bathed in a clear cerebrospinal fluid, from the bloodstream. The cells near the capillary beds external to the brain selectively filter the molecules that are allowed to enter the brain, creating a more stable, nearly pathogen-free environment.

Note

Oxygen, glucose, and white blood cells are molecules that are able to pass through this barrier. Red blood cells cannot.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.