Neuromodulation is rapidly becoming the face of precision medicine for neurological disorders. While central and peripheral nervous system stimulation therapies have shown great potential in managing neurological symptoms and restoring sensation, their clinical deployment has been limited by variable and unpredictable performance between patients. My research is focused on using in vivo imaging to understand how different stimulation treatments affect neural tissue at the cell population level. By understanding how electrical stimulation parameters can be used to target different populations of cells, we believe that we can improve the efficacy and consistency of neuromodulation treatments.

My doctoral work in Dr. Tracy Cui’s lab at University of Pittsburgh elaborated how electrode implantation in cerebral cortex affects different neural and glial populations, and how materials science strategies can alter that narrative.


Eles JR, Vazquez AL, Kozai TDY, Cui XT. Meningeal inflammatory response and fibrous tissue remodeling around intracortical implants: an in vivo two-photon imaging study. Biomaterials. 2019. In press.

Michelson NJ, Eles JR, Vazquez AL, Ludwig KA, Kozai TDY. Calcium activation of cortical neurons by continuous electrical stimulation: Frequency-dependence, temporal fidelity and activation density. Journal of Neuroscience Research. 2019. In press.

Patel A, Xue Y, Hartley R, Sant V, Eles JR, Cui XT, Stolz DB, Sant S. Hierarchically aligned fibrous hydrogel films through microfluidic self‐assembly of graphene and polysaccharides, Bioengineering and Biotechnology. 2018. In press.

Eles JR, Vazquez AL, Kozai TDY, Cui XT. In vivo imaging of neuronal calcium during electrode implantation: Spatial and temporal mapping of damage and recovery, Biomaterials. 2018. 174: 79-94.

Shen Y, Cao B, Snyder N, Woeppel K, Eles JR, Cui XT. ROS Responsive Resveratrol Delivery from LDLR Peptide Conjugated PLA-coated Mesoporous Silica Nanoparticles Across the Blood-Brain Barrier, J. Nanobiotechnology. 2018. 16:13

Cody PA, Eles JR, Lagenaur CF, Kozai TDY, Cui XT. Unique electrophysiological and impedance signatures between encapsulation types: An analysis of biological Utah array failure and benefit of a biomimetic coating in a rat model. Biomaterials. 2018. 161: 117-128.

Michelson NJ, Vazquez AL, Eles JR, Salatino JW, Purcell EK, Williams JJ, Cui XT, Kozai TDY. Multi-scale, multi-modal analysis uncovers complex relationship at the brain tissue-implant neural interface: New Emphasis on the Biological Interface. J Neural Engineering. 2018. doi: 10.1088

Wellman SM, Eles JR, Ludwig KA, Seymour JP, Michelson NJ, McFadden WE, Vazquez AL, Kozai TDY. A materials roadmap to functional neural interface design. Adv. Funct. Mater. 2017. 1701269.

Taylor IM, Du Z, Bigelow E, Eles JR, Horner AR, Catt K, Webser S, Jamieson B, Cui XT. Aptamer-functionalized neural recording electrodes for the direct measurement of cocaine in vivo. Journal of Materials Chemistry B. 2017. 5: 2445-2458.

Eles JR, Vazquez AL, Snyder NR, Lagenaur C, Murphy MC, Kozai TDY, Cui XT. Neuroadhesive L1 coating attenuates acute microglial attachment to neural electrodes as revealed by live two-photon microscopy. Biomaterials. 2017, 113: 279-92.

Eles JR*, Degenhart AD*, Dum R, Mischel JL, Smalianchuk I, Endler B, Ashmore RC, Tyler-Kabara EC, Hatsopoulos NG, Wang W, Batista AP, Cui XT. Histological evaluation of a chronically-implanted electrocorticographic electrode grid in a non-human primate. J Neural Eng. 2016, 13(4): 046019 [*Authors contributed equally].

Kozai TDY, Eles JR, Vazquez AL, Cui XT. Two-photon imaging of chronically implanted neural electrodes: Sealant Methods and new insights. J Neurosci. Meth.. 2015, 258(30) 46-55.