Molecular Engineering Imaging and Control

We engineer biomolecules with unusual physical properties and use them to image and control biological function non-invasively, e.g. using magnetic fields and sound waves.

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  • Welcome to the Shapiro Lab at the California Institute of Technology.
  • Pasadena, California, USA.
Bioacoustics

Bioacoustics

Imaging and controlling cellular function with ultrasound.
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Biomagnetism

Biomagnetism

New molecules and mechanisms for genetically encoded MRI contrast.
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Biophysics

Biophysics

Biophysics of neuromodulation with ultrasound and other forms of energy.
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Biochemistry

Biochemistry

Multiplexed chemical control of the nervous system.
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Acoustically Targeted Chemogenetics (ATAC)

Congratulations to Jerzy, Brian, Audrey and Dina on developing a new technology to modulate specific parts of the brain non-invasively with a combination of spatial, genetic and temporal control using ultrasound, gene delivery and small molecule drugs – featured on the cover of Nature Biomedical Engineering.

Szablowski JO, Lue B, Lee-Gosselin A, Malounda D, Shapiro MG*. Acoustically targeted chemogenetics for the non-invasive control of neural circuits. Nature Biomedical Engineering 2, 474-484 (2018).
article | readcube | news and views | press

Auditory effects of ultrasonic neuromodulation

Two new articles in Neuron from Caltech (with Tomo Sato and Doris Tsao) and the University of Minnesota (led by Hongsun Guo and Hubert Lim) describe a major effect of focused ultrasound on neural circuits. Congratulations to both teams on this important step towards making focused ultrasound a mature, well-controlled tool for neuroscience.
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Sato T*, Shapiro MG#*, Tsao DY#*. Ultrasonic neuromodulation causes widespread cortical activation via an indirect auditory mechanism. Neuron (2018). article | companion article

Acoustically modulated magnetic resonance imaging

Congratulations to George, Arash, Jerzy, Audrey and colleagues on their work introducing the concept of acoustically modulated MRI contrast agents, which address one of major limitations of MRI by taking advantage of the special magnetic and acoustic properties of gas vesicles – featured on the cover of Nature Materials.

Lu GJ, Farhadi A, Szablowski JO, Lee Gosselin A, Barnes SR, Lakshmanan A, Bourdeau RW, Shapiro MG*. Acoustically modulated magnetic resonance imaging of gas-filled protein nanostructures. Nature Materials (2018).
article | readcube | news and views | press | behind the paper

Looking inside an MRI voxel

Congratulations to Hunter, Pradeep, Aadyot, Audrey and our collaborators at Harvard on a new study using NV diamond magnetometry to examine the microscale origins of MRI contrast.

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Davis HC#, Ramesh P#, Bhatnagar A, Lee-Gosselin A, Barry JF, Glenn DR, Walsworth RL, Shapiro MG*. Mapping the microscale origins of MRI contrast with subcellular NV diamond magnetometry. Nature Communications 9, 131 (2018). article | press

Acoustic reporter genes

Congratulations to Ray, Audrey, Anu, Arash, Priya and Suchita on their work on acoustic reporter genes, featured on the cover of Nature!

Bourdeau RW, Lee-Gosselin A, Lakshmanan A, Farhadi A, Ravindra Kumar S, Nety SP, Shapiro MG*. Acoustic reporter genes for noninvasive imaging of microorganisms in mammalian hosts. Nature 553, 86–90 (2018).
article | news and views | press

Shapiro Lab Holiday Party 2017

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Celebrating a great year! Photobooth

Artificial ATOMS for microscale device localization

ATOMS-CoverCongratulations to Manuel, Audrey, and our collaborator in Electrical Engineering Azita Emami on the publication of a new approach to localizing microscale integrated circuits in the body using the principles of nuclear magnetic resonance.

Article: Localization of microscale devices in vivo using addressable transmitters operated as magnetic spins (ATOMS)

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Press

Detailed Protocol on Gas Vesicle Production

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Interested in making your own gas vesicles for ultrasound or MRI? An (excruciatingly) detailed protocol on GV production, purification, functionalization and imaging has just been published in Nature Protocols. Thanks to Anupama, George, Arash, Suchita, colleagues and collaborators on putting together this valuable resource.

Article: Preparation of biogenic gas vesicle nanostructures for use as contrast agents for ultrasound and MRI

 

Fourth Annual Shapiro Lab Beach Party

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Dana Point, CA, August 26, 2017. Thanks to all the lab members, collaborators and friends who joined us!

Nonlinear Imaging of Acoustic Biomolecules

Website-01Congratulations to David, Anu, Audrey, Johan, Yu-Li, Ray and our collaborator Dennis Kochmann on their article in Applied Physics Letters describing the development of nonlinear pulse sequences to maximize ultrasound contrast from gas vesicle protein nanostructures.

Article: Nonlinear ultrasound imaging of nanoscale acoustic biomolecules

See also a complementary article in Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology with collaborators at UofT detailing gas vesicles’ acoustic behavior.