Isolator(s) include isolating material and optionally gasketing material strategically positioned within a fuel cell assembly. The isolating material is disposed between a solid electrolyte and a metal flow field plate. Reactant fluid carried by flow field plate channel(s) forms a generally transverse electrochemical gradient. The isolator(s) serve to isolate electrochemically a portion of the flow field plate, for example, transversely outward from the channel(s), from the electrochemical gradient. Further, the isolator(s) serve to protect a portion of the solid electrolyte from metallic ions.