Cell culture models can provide information pertaining to the effective dose, toxiciology, and kinetics, for a variety of neuroactive compounds. However, many in vitro models fail to adequately predict how such compounds will perform in a living organism. At the systems level, interactions between organs can dramatically affect the properties of a compound by alteration of its biological activity or by elimination of it from the body. At the tissue level, interaction between cell types can alter the transport properties of a particular compound, or can buffer its effects on target cells by uptake, processing, or changes in chemical signaling between cells. In any given tissue, cells exist in a three-dimensional environment bounded on all sides by other cells and components of the extracellular matrix, providing kinetics that are dramatically different from the kinetics in traditional two-dimensional cell culture systems. Cell culture analogs are currently being developed to better model the complex transport and processing that occur prior to drug uptake in the CNS, and to predict blood-brain barrier permeability. These approaches utilize microfluidics, hydrogel matrices, and a variety of cell types (including lung epithelial cells, hepatocytes, adipocytes, glial cells, and neurons) to more accurately model drug transport and biological activity. Similar strategies are also being used to control both the spatial and temporal release of therapeutic compounds for targeted treatment of CNS disease.