Transgene-free remote magnetothermal regulation of adrenal hormones

Dekel Rosenfeld, Alexander W. Senko, Junsang Moon, Isabel Yick, Georgios Varnavides, Danijela Gregureć, Florian Koehler, Po Han Chiang, Michael G. Christiansen, Lisa Y. Maeng, Alik S. Widge, Polina Anikeeva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The field of bioelectronic medicines seeks to modulate electrical signaling within peripheral organs, providing temporally precise control of physiological functions. This is usually accomplished with implantable devices, which are often unsuitable for interfacing with soft and highly vascularized organs. Here, we demonstrate an alternative strategy for modulating peripheral organ function, which relies on the endogenous expression of a heat-sensitive cation channel, transient receptor potential vanilloid family member 1 (TRPV1), and heat dissipation by magnetic nanoparticles (MNPs) in remotely applied alternating magnetic fields. We use this approach to wirelessly control adrenal hormone secretion in genetically intact rats. TRPV1-dependent calcium influx into the cells of adrenal cortex and medulla is sufficient to drive rapid release of corticosterone and (nor)epinephrine. As altered levels of these hormones have been correlated with mental conditions such as posttraumatic stress disorder and major depression, our approach may facilitate the investigation of physiological and psychological impacts of stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereaaz3734
JournalScience Advances
Issue number15
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded in part by the DARPA ElectRx Program under D. Weber (HR0011-15-C-0155), the Bose Research Grant, and the NIH BRAIN Initiative (1R01MH111872). This work made use of the MIT MRSEC Shared Experimental Facilities under award number DMR-14-19807 from the NSF. D.R. is a recipient of the MIT-Technion Fellowship. A.W.S was funded by National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship, 32 CFR 168a. J.M. is a recipient of Samsung Scholarship. Methods of analysis and additional data are included in the Supplementary Materials.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2020 The Authors, some rights reserved; exclusive licensee American Association for the Advancement of Science. No claim to original U.S. Government Works. Distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial License 4.0 (CC BY-NC).


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