Nadir Talha

MIT Department: Biological Engineering
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Alan Jasanoff
Undergraduate Institution: Case Western Reserve University
Website: LinkedIn
Research Poster
Lightning Talk



Growing up in a small town in Morocco with suboptimal healthcare service, I quickly realized the importance of diagnostic devices and hospital infrastructure in delivering appropriate medical care. This led me to study Electrical Engineering with a focus on medical devices at Case Western Reserve University, where I am completing my BS/MS degree. My vision is to advance the integration of technology in medicine through new and innovative medical devices that could help advance and democratize medical care. When I am not studying, I enjoy watching soccer, exercising, and trying new foods.


2021 Abstract


Optimization of Multifunctional Fibers for In Vivo Molecular fMRI

Nadir Talha1, Miriam Schwalm2, Atharva Sahasrabudhe3,4,5, Polina Anikeeva3,5,6,7 and Alan Jasanoff2,5,6
1Department of Electrical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University
2Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
3Research Laboratory of Electronics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
4Department of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
5McGovern Institute for Brain Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
6Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
7Department of Materials Science and Engineering,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

To establish effective therapeutic interventions for various neurophysiological diseases, it is imperative to first understand the whole-brain connectivity and function of the mammalian brain. Most neural probing devices record and act on only one of many different types of neural signals to develop a better understanding of the brain’s organizational levels and their functions. The goal of this project is to create multifunctional fibers that allow for electrical stimulation, photometry measurements and/or optogenetic control and contrast agent delivery, simultaneous to functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) scans. These multifunctional fibers are made from polymer and composite materials (e.g. carbon nanotubes) that are MR compatible. An angular implantation method is used to allow for a better fit of the animal in the MRI coil, compared to a 90-degree implantation. Our devices were implanted in the cortex of wild type rats and viral vectors expressing GCaMP6f were injected, allowing for photometric data to be collected simultaneously to high field MRI. These multifunctional fiber devices are suitable for probing the brain in long-term chronic experiments to track brain connectivity and for testing novel imaging agents which can be infused directly at the stimulation and/or recording site.