Moises Montalvo Lafontaine

Faculty Mentor:
Polina Anikeeva

Direct Supervisor: Ritchie Chen

Home University: University of Puerto Rico, Arecibo

Major: Technology in Industrial Chemical Processes



I was born and raised in Utuado, Puerto Rico; a municipality located in the central-western mountainous region of the island. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Technology in Industrial Chemical Processes from the University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo. My desire to become a professor and researcher motivated me to pursue another degree in Chemical Engineering to then obtain a PhD in the same field. I am currently a senior student at the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez. My goal is to continue doing research in material sciences with biomedical applications.


Direct Linking of Magnetic Nanoantennae to Neurons

Magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) can facilitate remote cell manipulation by radio-frequency heating of the ion channels on cellular membranes. In order to deliver local heating we need to attach the MNPs directly to the ion channels. In this project I will develop a generalized protocol for bio-functionalization of MNPs of tertiary ferrites MeFe2O4 (Me=Mn, Co, Ni). I will use confocal microscopy in live mammalian cell cultures to establish the effectiveness of my protocol. Finally, I will assess the heating properties of the functionalized MNPs in solution as well as in the live cells cultures.