Department Seminar

Advanced Nanobiomaterials for Neural Interfaces

Speaker Details:

Mohammad Reza Abidian
Assistant Professor
Biomedical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University

Lecture Details:

March 5, 2015
12:30-1:30 p.m.
Foege N130A, Wallace H. Coulter Seminar Room


Neural interfaces are increasingly applied for the treatment of neurological disorders and diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, paralysis, and chronic pain. An ideal neural interface should seamlessly integrate into the nervous system and reliably function for long periods of time. The quality performance of these technologies ultimately rests on the specifics of the martial design that, in turn, enables a long-lasting functional interface. The challenge for materials science is to apply nanotechnology strategies for development of innovative biomaterials that closely mimic neural tissue characteristics and hence, cause minimal inflammation and neuronal cell loss. As a result, many nanoscale materials not originally developed for implantable neural applications have become attractive candidates to record neural signals, stimulate neurons, regenerate axons, and deliver drugs and biomolecules to nervous system. In this seminar, I will introduce some of the material-based approaches that we have developed within the past few years to improve long–term efficacy of neural interfaces. I will focus on synthesis, fabrication, and application of electroactive nanostructured materials including conducting polymer nanotubes and bioactive nanofibers for drug delivery to the brain, chronic neural recording, neurochemical sensing, and axonal regeneration.

Speaker Bio:

Mohammad Reza Abidian is currently an Assistant Professor at Pennsylvania State University in the Departments of Biomedical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Chemical Engineering. He directs the laboratory Advanced Regenerative Biomaterials and Therapeutics for Neural Interfaces, which investigates at the interface of biomaterials and electronic devices to develop the next-generation of neural interfaces. His lab utilizes interdisciplinary approaches for development of low cost and high throughput medical devices and technologies for regenerative engineering, diagnosis, and treatment with an emphasis on neural interfaces and neurological diseases, in particular for neural recording and stimulation, neural tissue regeneration, drug delivery to brain tumor, and neurochemical sensing. Prof. Abidian has received many awards and honors including Materials Research Society Silver Award, the University of Michigan Rackham Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, College of Engineering Student Distinguished Achievement Award, and Plenary Speaker in 2nd and 3rd US-Turkey Advanced Study Institute on Healthcare Challenges, sponsored by the NSF in Antalya, Turkey. His research has been featured several times on the cover of frontier journals including Advanced Materials and Advanced Functional Materials, and Advanced Healthcare Materials. Prof. Abidian received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic) and his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from University of Michigan. He completed his postdoctoral training in the Center for Neural Communication Technology and Plastic Surgery Department at the University of Michigan.