Yasmin Graham

MIT Department: Materials Science and Engineering

Undergraduate Institution: University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Faculty Mentor: Polina Anikeeva

Research Supervisor: Dekel Rosenfeld

Websites: LinkedIn, Personal site



I am a Mechanical Engineering student, as well as a Meyerhoff and MARC U*STAR scholar at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. My previous research internship focused on creating portable biosensors with color based detection through nanotechnology. I plan to go on to pursue a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering, with a focus in biomechanics. Outside of school, I like photography, to travel, explore other cultures and to sing.

2017 Research Abstract

Magnetothermal Excitation Of Biological Tissues

Yasmin M. Graham, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maryland,

Baltimore County

Dekel Rosenfeld, Research laboratory of electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Polina Anikeeva, Department of Material Science and Engineering and Research laboratory of electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Electrical stimulation has poor resolution and mechanical invasiveness and is not suitable for deep tissue stimulation. By using magnetic nano-particles (MNPs) that can be wirelessly controlled by alternating magnetic fields (AMF), the use of invasive and tissue-damaging electrodes is eliminated. This project employs iron oxide MNPs that dissipate heat upon exposure to AMF, which then triggers thermally-sensitive ion channels and evokes neuronal excitation. When stimulating deep tissues in the body there is a need to examine the heat distribution within the tissue considering the blood perfusion. In addition, post stimulation there is a need to examine whether cells were activated by the heat stimulus.

The goal of this project was to examine the heat distribution within a tissue injected with MNPs and exposed to AMF, using finite elements modeling and considering the tissue blood perfusion. Different conditions and parameters were examined in order to adjust the experiment parameters to the desired temperature increase within the tissue to trigger the heat sensitive ion channels. In addition, using immunohistochemistry techniques, fixated tissue slices were stained for various antibodies, that can indicate whether the cells were activated upon the magnetic field stimulation. In particular, the percentage of c-fos expression post magnetothermal stimulation was quantified and compared to a non-stimulated tissue.