Microplatform for minimally-invasive spatio-temporal modulation of immune dynamics in the brain

2015 Seed Grant
Beata Chertok, Ph.D.
University of Michigan

The goal of this project is to develop tiny devices the size of blood cells that can be injected into the blood stream and non-invasively activated in specific locations of the brain to release molecules and genes with pre-programmed timing. These devices will be used to modulate responses of the immune system in the brain. When the immune system fights infections in the normal brain, the specific location and the timing of activation of the immune system components is tightly regulated. This regulation becomes abnormal in many brain disorders including neurodegenerative diseases, traumatic brain injury and brain tumors. The abnormal immune response acts to stimulate the disease instead of fighting it. By delivering molecules and genes that can modulate immune system activities in specific locations and with a pre-designed timing of presentation in the brain, we hope to re-program the immune system to fight the disease. During the time-frame of the proposed project, we will explore the ability of our devices to modulate the immune system components in brain tumors in mice. If successful, we will work on further development of this technology for therapy of brain tumors and other disorders of the human brain.

Other Grants

Rebekah C. Evans, Ph.D., Georgetown University
In Vivo and Ex Vivo Dissection of Midbrain Neuron Activity During Exercise
Exercise is important for the health of the body and the mind. Exercise promotes learning and reduces symptoms of brain-related diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. However, it…
William J. Giardino, Ph.D. Stanford University
Deciphering the Neuropeptide Circuitry of Emotional Arousal in Narcolepsy
This research project aims to investigate the neural mechanisms of a specific type of brain cell called neuropeptide neurons within a region of the brain’s amygdala network called the bed…
Howard Gritton, Ph.D., University of Illinois
Attention Mechanisms Contributing to Auditory Spatial Processing.
Our world is composed of a rich mixture of sounds. We often process sounds including speech in the presence of many other competing auditory stimuli (e.g., voices in a crowded…
Nora Kory, Ph.D., Harvard University
Elucidating the Fates and Functions of Lactate in the Brain
The human brain requires significant energy to function. Despite accounting for only 2% of our body weight, the brain consumes a substantial 20% of the body’s energy, relying on a…