Department of Biomedical Engineering and Sagol School of Neuroscience
Tel Aviv University
The adrenal glands produce different types of hormones, including the stress hormones cortisol and (nor)epinephrine. Imbalance of stress hormones is associated with mental health disorders and currently controlled via drugs, which suffer from limited temporal precision and accompanying side effects due to systemic delivery. The field of bioelectronic medicine aims to develop methods to stimulate electrogenic cells within organs for activation of biological mechanisms and to treat diseases. The recent achievements of this emerging field offer alternatives for activation of organs with poor function, with on demand control on cells.
This project aims to develop a small size magnetic coil device to produce alternating magnetic fields that can stimulate those cells. Our main effort is triggering cells that bear thermally sensitive ion channels. We focus mainly on activation of the heat sensitive transient receptor potential vanilloid family member 1 (TRPV1) with a temperature threshold of >41.5 ⁰C. Achieving this goal advances personalized therapeutic interventions for mental health disorders, to improve the life quality of those patients.
To accomplish this ambitious task, we created an electromagnet coil and performed circuit design and analysis. Our goal is to achieve specific magnetic field parameters that induce heat dissipation from a 20 nm magnetic nanoparticles, to activate those cells via their heat-sensitive ion channels.