Controlling drug activity with light

Hormones and nutrients bind to receptors on cell surfaces by a lock-and-key mechanism that triggers intracellular events linked to that specific receptor. Drugs that mimic natural molecules are widely used to control these intracellular signaling mechanisms for therapy and in research.

In a recent publication, a team led by MIT Associate Professor Polina Anikeeva, a McGovern Institute for Brain Research Associate Investigator, and Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) Research Assistant Professor James Frank introduce a microfiber technology to deliver and activate a drug that can be induced to bind its receptor by exposure to light.

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James A Frank
Assistant Professor at Vollum Institute, OHSU
Pohan Chiang
Assistant Professor at National Chiao Tung University
Andres Canales
Researcher at Advanced Silicon Group
Indie Garwood
Indie Garwood
Postdoctoral Associate

Postdoctoral Associate student developing neurotechnology to study anesthesia | Devoted dog + cat mom

Florian Koehler
Florian Koehler
Graduate Student


Polina Anikeeva
Polina Anikeeva
Professor in Materials Science and Engineering
Professor in Brain and Cognitive Sciences
Associate Director, Research Laboratory of Electronics

My goal is to combine the current knowledge of biology and nanoelectronics to develop materials and devices for minimally invasive treatments for neurological and neuromuscular diseases.