Polina Anikeeva

  • Associate Professor in Materials Science and Engineering
  • Associate Professor in Brain and Cognitive Sciences
  • Associate Director, Research Laboratory of Electronics
  • B.S. in Biophysics, St. Petersburg State Polytechnic University, 2003
  • Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering, MIT, 2009


Biomaterials; Biophysics; Biotechnology; Electronic Materials; Magnetic Materials; Materials Chemistry; Implants; Nanotechnology; Photonic Materials

Polina Anikeeva


Prof. Polina Anikeeva joined DMSE in 2011. Dr. Anikeeva's Ph.D. thesis focussed on physical properties and design of light emitting devices based on organic materials and nanoparticles, working under the supervision of Prof. Vladimir Bulovic in EECS. She previously held the Dean's Postdoctoral Fellowship, School of Medicine, Stanford and was in the group of Prof. Karl Deisseroth in the Department of Bioengineering. Her current research is focused on development of optoelectronic and magnetic materials and devices for recording and modulating activity of neurons in the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral organs.

When asked to describe her research interests, Dr. Anikeeva writes, "My research interests lie within the field of Bioelectronics, and specifically the development of materials and devices that enable recording and manipulation of signaling processes within the nervous system. Our ability to understand the dynamics of neural circuits and develop treatments for neurological (Parkinson’s, paraplegia) and psychiatric (depression) conditions is currently handicapped by the technology available for interacting with the electrical, chemical, and mechanical signaling modalities used by neurons. Today, neural probes remain limited in both function and longevity as they fail to communicate with the neural tissue across its signaling palette for extended periods of time. ....By combining physical modeling, materials synthesis and device fabrication with understanding of electrophysiological and anatomical structure of neural circuits, my group aspires to create enabling tools for systems neuroscience as well as advance the development of future neuroprosthetics." She is enthusiastic about pursuing her research interests at MIT, where collaborations between colleagues, departments, and schools create innovations almost daily.

She explains that, "While research is a very significant part, of my life, I cannot possibly imagine a fulfilling career without teaching. My goal, as a teacher, is to infect the students with my curiosity for materials science and to inspire them to become future academic and industry leaders in the field." Every Spring she teaches core undergraduate course 3.024 "Electronic, Optical, and Magnetic Properties of Materials" that takes students on a math-packed journey throught the structure-property relations governing optoelectronics and magnetism. In the Fall she teaches an advanced design course 3.156/3.46 "Photonic Materials and Devices" that allows students to engineer realistic photonic devices such as lasers, solar cells, and optical fibers.

Recent News

Anikeeva menitoned as a "hero of science" for unlocking the brain

Five foot three and compact as a gazelle, Anikeeva is a marathon runner, a rock climber, and one heck of a scientist. She was born to a pair of mechanical engineers in the former Soviet Union, where she so excelled at academics that she was moved to an elite high school, then majored in physics…   more

Seeking materials that match the brain

Polina Anikeeva was born in Leningrad, USSR, but grew up in St. Petersburg, Russia; the city’s name reverted to its original form after the fall of the Soviet Union. While in school there, she encountered two inspiring scientists who helped propel her toward a career at MIT, where she now…   more

Polina Anikeeva awarded 2018 Vilcek Prize

Polina Anikeeva has been awarded a 2018 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science. Awarded annually by the Vilcek Foundation, the $50,000 prizes recognize younger immigrants who have demonstrated exceptional promise early in their careers. …   more

2018 Forbes 30 Under 30

DMSE adds a few familiar faces to Forbes 30 Under 30. Brent Keller, who is part of Jeff Grossman's group, was listed as one of Forbes 30 Under 30 for Manufacturing and Industry for co-founding Via Separations. …   more



J. A. Frank, Antonini, M. -J., and Anikeeva, P. O., “Next-generation interfaces for studying neural function”, Nature Biotechnology. Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2019.
S. Rao et al., “Remotely controlled chemomagnetic modulation of targeted neural circuits”, Nature Nanotechnology. Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2019.


A. Kilias, Canales, A., Froriep, U. P., Park, S., Egert, U., and Anikeeva, P. O., “Optogenetic entrainment of neural oscillations with hybrid fiber probes”, Journal of Neural Engineering, vol. 15. p. 056006, 2018.
P. O. Anikeeva, Lieber, C. M., and Cheon, J., “Creating Functional Interfaces with Biological Circuits”, Accounts of Chemical Research, vol. 51. pp. 987-987, 2018.
B. Tian et al., “Roadmap on semiconductor–cell biointerfaces”, Physical Biology, vol. 15. p. 031002, 2018.
P. O. Anikeeva and Luo, L., “Editorial overview: Neurotechnologies”, Current Opinion in Neurobiology, vol. 50. p. iv—vi, 2018.
S. E. Mondello et al., “Optogenetic surface stimulation of the rat cervical spinal cord”, Journal of Neurophysiology, vol. 120. pp. 795-811, 2018.
A. Canales, Park, S., Kilias, A., and Anikeeva, P. O., “Multifunctional Fibers as Tools for Neuroscience and Neuroengineering”, Accounts of Chemical Research, vol. 51. pp. 829-838, 2018.


A. Canales, Park, S., Lu, C., Fink, Y., and Anikeeva, P. O., “Electronic, optical, and chemical interrogation of neural circuits with multifunctional fibers (Conference Presentation)”, in Biosensing and Nanomedicine X, San Diego, United States, 2017, p. 20.
C. Lu et al., “Flexible and stretchable nanowire-coated fibers for optoelectronic probing of spinal cord circuits”, Science Advances, vol. 3. p. e1600955, 2017.
M. G. Christiansen, Howe, C. M., Bono, D. C., Perreault, D. J., and Anikeeva, P. O., “Practical methods for generating alternating magnetic fields for biomedical research”, Review of Scientific Instruments, vol. 88. p. 084301, 2017.
S. Park et al., “One-step optogenetics with multifunctional flexible polymer fibers”, Nature Neuroscience, vol. 20. pp. 612-619, 2017.
S. Park et al., “One-step optogenetics with multifunctional flexible polymer fibers”, Nature Neuroscience, vol. 20. p. 612 - +, 2017.
R. Chen, Canales, A., and Anikeeva, P. O., “Neural recording and modulation technologies”, Nature Reviews Materials, vol. 2. p. 16093, 2017.


S. Schuerle, Dudani, J. S., Christiansen, M. G., Anikeeva, P. O., and Bhatia, S. N., “Magnetically Actuated Protease Sensors for in Vivo Tumor Profiling”, Nano Letters, vol. 16. pp. 6303-6310, 2016.
P. O. Anikeeva and Jasanoff, A., “Problems on the back of an envelope”, Elife, vol. 5. p. e19569, 2016.
G. Romero, Christiansen, M. G., Barbosa, L. S., Garcia, F., and Anikeeva, P. O., “Localized Excitation of Neural Activity via Rapid Magnetothermal Drug Release”, Advanced Functional Materials, vol. 26. pp. 6471-6478, 2016.
T. T. Ruckh et al., “Ion-Switchable Quantum Dot Forster Resonance Energy Transfer Rates in Ratiometric Potassium Sensors”, Acs Nano, vol. 10. pp. 4020-4030, 2016.
R. A. Koppes et al., “Thermally drawn fibers as nerve guidance scaffolds.”, Biomaterials, vol. 81. pp. 27-35, 2016.
R. Chen et al., “High-Performance Ferrite Nanoparticles through Nonaqueous Redox Phase Tuning”, Nano Letters, vol. 16. pp. 1345-1351, 2016.
P. O. Anikeeva, “Optogenetics unleashed.”, Nature biotechnology, vol. 34. pp. 43-4, 2016.


Y. Matsumoto, Chen, R., Anikeeva, P. O., and Jasanoff, A., “Engineering intracellular biomineralization and biosensing by a magnetic protein”, Nature Communications, vol. 6. p. 8721, 2015.
P. O. Anikeeva and Koppes, R. A., “Restoring the sense of touch”, Science, vol. 350. pp. 274-275, 2015.
C. N. Loynachan et al., “Targeted Magnetic Nanoparticles for Remote Magnetothermal Disruption of Amyloid-beta Aggregates”, Advanced Healthcare Materials, vol. 4. pp. 2100-2109, 2015.
S. Park et al., “Optogenetic control of nerve growth”, Scientific Reports, vol. 5. p. 9669, 2015.
R. Chen, Romero, G., Christiansen, M. G., Mohr, A., and Anikeeva, P. O., “Wireless magnetothermal deep brain stimulation”, Science, vol. 347. pp. 1477-1480, 2015.
A. Canales et al., “Multifunctional fibers for simultaneous optical, electrical and chemical interrogation of neural circuits in vivo.”, Nature biotechnology, vol. 33. pp. 277-84, 2015.


C. Lu et al., “Polymer Fiber Probes Enable Optical Control of Spinal Cord and Muscle Function In Vivo”, Advanced Functional Materials, vol. 24. pp. 6594-6600, 2014.
L. A. Gunaydin et al., “Natural Neural Projection Dynamics Underlying Social Behavior”, Cell, vol. 157. pp. 1535-1551, 2014.
K. Birmingham et al., “Bioelectronic medicines: a research roadmap”, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, vol. 13. pp. 399-400, 2014.
R. Pashaie et al., “Optogenetic brain interfaces.”, IEEE reviews in biomedical engineering, vol. 7. pp. 3-30, 2014.


H. Liske, Qian, X., Anikeeva, P. O., Deisseroth, K., and Delp, S., “Optical control of neuronal excitation and inhibition using a single opsin protein, ChR2”, Scientific Reports, vol. 3. p. 3110, 2013.
R. Chen, Christiansen, M. G., and Anikeeva, P. O., “Maximizing Hysteretic Losses in Magnetic Ferrite Nanoparticles via Model-Driven Synthesis and Materials Optimization”, Acs Nano, vol. 7. pp. 8990-9000, 2013.
H. Liske et al., “Optical inhibition of motor nerve and muscle activity in vivo”, Muscle & Nerve, vol. 47. pp. 916-921, 2013.


P. O. Anikeeva and Deisseroth, K., “Photothermal Genetic Engineering”, Acs Nano, vol. 6. pp. 7548-7552, 2012.
P. O. Anikeeva et al., “Optetrode: a multichannel readout for optogenetic control in freely moving mice”, Nature Neuroscience, vol. 15. pp. 163 - U204, 2012.


K. E. Aidala, Panzer, M. J., Anikeeva, P. O., Halpert, J. E., Bawendi, M. G., and Bulovic, V., “Morphology of contact printed colloidal quantum dots in organic semiconductor films: Implications for QD-LEDs”, in Physica Status Solidi C: Current Topics in Solid State Physics, Vol 8, vol. 8, 2011.
K. E. Aidala, Panzer, M. J., Anikeeva, P. O., Halpert, J. E., Bawendi, M. G., and Bulovic, V., “Morphology of contact printed colloidal quantum dots in organic semiconductor films: Implications for QD-LEDs”, in Physica Status Solidi C: Current Topics in Solid State Physics, Vol 8, vol. 8, 2011.


I. B. Witten et al., “Cholinergic Interneurons Control Local Circuit Activity and Cocaine Conditioning”, Science, vol. 330. pp. 1677-1681, 2010.
M. J. Panzer, Aidala, K. E., Anikeeva, P. O., Halpert, J. E., Bawendi, M. G., and Bulovic, V., “Nanoscale Morphology Revealed at the Interface Between Colloidal Quantum Dots and Organic Semiconductor Films”, Nano Letters, vol. 10. pp. 2421-2426, 2010.
M. R. Hummon et al., “Measuring charge trap occupation and energy level in CdSe/ZnS quantum dots using a scanning tunneling microscope”, Physical Review B, vol. 81. 2010.
Y. Shirasaki, Anikeeva, P. O., Tischler, J. R., Bradley, S., and Bulovic, V., “Efficient Forster energy transfer from phosphorescent organic molecules to J-aggregate thin films”, Chemical Physics Letters, vol. 485. pp. 243-246, 2010.


P. O. Anikeeva, Halpert, J. E., Bawendi, M. G., and Bulovic, V., “Quantum Dot Light-Emitting Devices with Electroluminescence Tunable over the Entire Visible Spectrum”, Nano Letters, vol. 9. pp. 2532-2536, 2009.


L. A. Kim, Anikeeva, P. O., Coe-Sullivan, S. A., Steckel, J. S., Bawendi, M. G., and Bulovic, V., “Contact Printing of Quantum Dot Light-Emitting Devices”, Nano Letters, vol. 8. pp. 4513-4517, 2008.
P. O. Anikeeva, Madigan, C. F., Halpert, J. E., Bawendi, M. G., and Bulovic, V., “Electronic and excitonic processes in light-emitting devices based on organic materials and colloidal quantum dots”, Physical Review B, vol. 78. 2008.


P. O. Anikeeva, Halpert, J. E., Bawendi, M. G., and Bulovic, V., “Electroluminescence from a mixed red-green-blue colloidal quantum dot monolayer”, Nano Letters, vol. 7. pp. 2196-2200, 2007.


P. O. Anikeeva, Madigan, C. F., Coe-Sullivan, S. A., Steckel, J. S., Bawendi, M. G., and Bulovic, V., “Photoluminescence of CdSe/ZnS core/shell quantum dots enhanced by energy transfer from a phosphorescent donor”, Chemical Physics Letters, vol. 424. pp. 120-125, 2006.
J. S. Steckel et al., “Color-saturated green-emitting QD-LEDs”, Angewandte Chemie-International Edition, vol. 45. pp. 5796-5799, 2006.


S. A. Ivanov et al., “Light amplification using inverted core/shell nanocrystals: Towards lasing in the single-exciton regime”, Journal of Physical Chemistry B, vol. 108. pp. 10625-10630, 2004.