Emilia Peltola has been recently appointed Associate Professor of Materials Engineering.
Materials in health technology is one of the research areas of the Faculty of Technology at the University of Turku, which started its operations in the beginning of 2021.
Emilia has previously worked as Academy Research Fellow in Aalto University in co-operation with Tomi Laurila’s team in the field of materials science and now she is recruiting members to her own research group here in Turku. Further, she is the responsible professor of Master’s Degree Programme in Materials Engineering: Health Technology Materials. She is passionate about using technology in creating better health. When I asked her why she selected research career, her answer was simply: “If you want to understand different phenomena and create something new, research is the way to do it.”
For more information on Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, please visit: https://www.utu.fi/en/university/faculty-of-technology/mechanical-and-materials-engineering
Why then materials engineering is essential for neuroscience? Implantable medical devices, such as electrodes used in deep brain stimulation (DBS), need to be developed to generate most beneficial cellular or tissue response. Emilia’s team is creating sensors for electrochemical measurements of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine and glutamate, from the brain. DBS is commonly used to treat a number of neurological and psychiatric conditions. Currently DBS devices are controlled manually, but the target is to create devices which would automatically sense activity in the brain and adapt stimulation accordingly. However, the long-term stability of electrodes and sensors is challenged by biofouling and host response. The latest finding from their group suggests that the surface structure of the carbon electrodes is important factor in material selection and electrodes containing composite nanostructures might decrease biofouling in comparison with the planar electrodes. More findings related to how neurons react to different surfaces coming soon. Stay tuned!
Wishing Emilia the best and plenty of success in your research career. Great to have you here in Turku!