Breaking Barriers in “Understanding the Mind”
Today, there is no practical way to directly map the electric field in response to the neural activity; nor is there a way to remotely stimulate the neural activity deep in the brain. A few years ago, we proposed to use energy-efficient magneto-electric nanoparticles (MENs) to bridge remote magnetic fields with the intrinsic electric fields deep in the brain and thus enable both electric-field mapping and remotely-controlled stimulation. Like the conventional magnetic nanoparticles (MNs), used as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) contrast agents, the MENs have a non-zero magnetic moment and therefore their spatial distribution can be controlled remotely via an external magnetic field gradient. In addition, unlike the conventional MNs, MENs display an entirely new property, which is non-zero magneto-electric (ME) effect. This ME coupling can be used to enable remote stimulation of selective regions in the brain as well as sensing the local electric field induced by the neural activity in the brain. To use MENs for electric-field mapping, the new nanoparticles must be used together with an existing magnetic imaging technique such as MRI or the recently emerged magnetic nanoparticle imaging (MNI). In this case, MENs modulate the typical structural image obtained by MRI with the local electric field. Moreover, when used with MNI, MENs can be used for field mapping in real time (with a temporal resolution in the microsecond range). The potential applications span from the prevention and treatment of neurological disorders to opening a pathway to fundamental understanding of the brain. Further, MNI in conjunction with MENs is suitable for real-time studies of the neural activity field dynamics deep in the brain to understand less known intrinsic processes. This talk will summarize the current findings of our in-vitro and in-vivo studies.
Dr. Sakhrat Khizroev received a B.S/M.S. degree in Physics from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology in 1992/1994 and a PhD degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 1999. After graduation, Dr. Khizroev spent almost four years as a Research Staff Member with Seagate Research (1999-2003). From 2003-2005, he was an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at FIU. From 2005-2011, Dr. Khizroev was a faculty at the Department of Electrical Engineering of the University of California, Riverside (UCR). At 2011, Dr. Khizroev re-joined FIU to lead the university-wide multi-disciplinary research effort in personalized nanomedicine. Dr. Sakhrat Khizroev is an inventor with an expertise in nanomagnetic/spintronic devices. Khizroev was named a Fellow of National Academy of Inventors (2012). He holds over 30 granted US patents plus many international patents. He has authored over 120 refereed papers. His background is in physics and electrical engineering. His group’s current research focus is at the intersection of nanoengineering with medicine. Though he is a tenured professor at the College of Engineering, today his main lab is at the College of Medicine where his team works hand-in-hand with leading medical researchers and clinicians to advance the state of the art in areas of Oncology, HIV/AIDs, Neurodegenerative Diseases, Ophthalmology, and others.