Pitt | Swanson Engineering
James Eles

James Regis Eles


Biomedical devices implanted in the nervous system hold the potential to treat anything from paralysis to Parkinson’s, but many of these devices are rejected by the body. As a PhD Candidate in Dr. Cui’s lab, I am developing new technologies to improve the outlook for neural technologies. I am approaching this from a few angles:


  • Creating bio-active wound sealants to manage inflammation following neural electrode implantation into the brain
  • Developing electrically stimulated drug release systems for large molecule release in the brain or in denervated muscle
  • Using two-photon microscopy and second harmonic generation imaging to study the time-course and evolution of the body’s response to implanted devices to better design therapeutics


Additionally, I am working with collaboration between our lab and Dr. Charles Sfier’s lab to translate some of our technology to reduce inflammation related complications for dental implants. Towards this end, our technology has won grand prizes at University of Pittsburgh’s Pittsburgh Innovation Challenge 2015, Michael G. Wells Student Healthcare Entrepreneurship Competition 2015, and the Randall Family Big Idea Competition 2015.


Presentations and Publications:

James Eles, Alberto Vazquez, TK Kozai, X. Tracy Cui, In vivo imaging of neuronal calcium during electrode implantation: spatial and temporal mapping of damage and recovery, Accepted by Biomaterials.

Degenhart AD*, Eles JR*, 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. Journal of Neural Engineering. 2016, 13(4): 046019 [Link] [* Authors contributed equally]

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

Eles JR, Zheng X, Prabhu P, Cui XT. Carbon Nanotube/Conducting  Polymer  Coatings  for  Electrically  Stimulated  Drug Release from intramuscular electrodes Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting; 2015 Oct 7-10; Tampa, FL., USA. 

Eles JR, Kolarcik CL, Venpati SK, Cui XT. Combination electrical stimulation and pulsatile therapeutic-release strategies to preserve neuromuscular junction health in peripheral nerve injury. Poster presented at: Neuroscience 2014, Society for Neuroscience; 2014 Nov 15-19; Washington D.C., USA.

Eles JR, Degenhart AD, Dum RP, Mischel JL, Smalianchuk I, Endler BM, Ashmore RC, Tyler-Kabara EC, Hastopoulos NG, Wang W, Batista AP, Cui XT. Histological Evaluation of a Chronically-implanted Electrocorticographic Electrode Grid in a Non-Human Primate. Poster presented at:  BRAIN Grand Challenges Conference, IEEE EMBS; 2014 Nov 13-14; Washington D.C., USA.

Eles JR, Weaver CL, Snyder NR, Cui XT. Ultrastructural characterization of tissue reaction to neural probe implantation. Poster presented at: Neuroscience 2013, Society for Neuroscience; 2013 Nov 9-13; San Diego, California, USA.

Eles JR, Tremblay ME, Majewska AK. Visual Deprivation Regulates the GLT-1 Promoter in Cortical Astrocytes. Poster presented at: University of Rochester Center for Visual Sciences Summer Fellowship Poster Session 2011, University of Rochester Center for Visual Sciences; 2011 August; Rochester, NY ,USA.