EPFL BioE Talks SERIES "MiNDS: Miniaturized Neural Drug Delivery System - A Flexible Shuttle to the Brain"


Event details

Date 22.03.2021
Hour 16:0016:30
Speaker Prof. Canan Dağdeviren, MIT Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA (USA)
Location Online
Category Conferences - Seminars
(note that this talk is number one of a double-feature seminar - see details of the second talk here)

Despite some improvements in understanding the pathophysiological effects related to neurodegenerative disorders, there is a deficit of suitable technologies that can keep up with the rapid dynamics of neural circuits—a requirement for more effective treatments. For example, conventional drugs are administered orally or intravenously, leading to drug distribution throughout the body. This results in delivery kinetics with disadvantages of (i) systemic toxicity, (ii) escalating dosing regimens, and (iii) limited therapeutic efficacy. This is why the ability to modulate neural pathways directly inside the brain is crucial. Our recent work overcomes these issues and leads an emerging field that performs targeted delivery of chemicals for effective neuromodulation. We achieved this by microfabricating a miniaturized neural drug delivery system, called MiNDS, that modulates neural functions and related behavior in animal subjects, with cell-type specificity and high spatial and temporal precision, while simultaneously recording neuronal electroencephalographic (EEG) activity to enable feedback control. Microfabrication allows customizable and mechanically robust devices with various lengths and diameters to accommodate both small and large animals, without requiring a guide tube for implantation. The versatile functionality of this biocompatible, miniaturized device platform (<200 μm in diameter) permits local, on-demand chemical neuromodulation.

Canan Dagdeviren is the LG Career Development Professor of Media Arts and Sciences at MIT Media Lab, where she leads the Conformable Decoders research group since January 2017. The group aims to convert the patterns of nature and the human body into beneficial signals and energy.
Dagdeviren earned her Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she focused on exploring patterning techniques and creating piezoelectric based biomedical systems. As a Junior Fellow of the Society of Fellows at Harvard University, Dr. Dagdeviren conducted her postdoctoral research at the MIT David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research.

Dagdeviren’s work has been featured in many media outlets, including TIME, Washington Post, Smithsonian Magazine, Popular Mechanics, CBS News, BBC News and Physics World. In 2015, MIT Technology Review named her among the "Top 35 Innovators Under 35" and Forbes selected her as one of the "Top 30 Under 30 in Science". Recently, Dagdeviren has been named as a Spotlight Health Scholar by Aspen Institute and World #1 in Medical Innovation Category of Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the World (TOYP) by Junior Chamber International. In 2016, Dr. Dagdeviren was awarded the Science & Sci Life Prize for Young Scientists in Translational Medicine Category and invited to attend Nobel Prize Ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden. Recently, Dr. Dagdeviren has been named as 2017 Innovation and Technology Delegate by the American Academy of Achievement. In 2019 Dr. Dagdeviren was among 87 of the nation’s brightest young engineers who have been selected to take part in the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) 25th annual U.S. Frontiers of Engineering (USFOE) symposium, hosted by Boeing in Charleston, South Carolina.

Zoom link (with registration) for attending remotely: https://go.epfl.ch/EPFLBioETalks

IMPORTANT NOTICE: due to restrictions resulting from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, this seminar can be followed via Zoom web-streaming only, (following prior one-time registration through the link above).

Practical information

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  • Registration required