What our students have been working on during lockdown – Mafalda

We catch up with Mafalda Ribeiro to find out what she has been up to these last few months

Mafalda has recently had a Journal Paper published, a Conference Abstract published, and is preparing another two papers as well as moving forward with her PhD research!  Find out more here:

Published Journal Paper

Electrical excitability of human breast cancer cells

My experience in bioelectronics from my final MEng year at the University of Bath led me to pursue a project during the summer (in collaboration with researchers from the University of Bath and Imperial College London) looking at the bioelectricity of breast cancer cells. More specifically, we examined the electrical behaviour of aggressively metastatic breast cancer cells using highly sensitive multielectrode arrays (MEAs), that can detect the electrical activity of cell populations through large electrode areas (recently published in Frontiers in Neuroscience).

Conference Abstract Published

Investigation of Random Telegraph Signal noise in human breast cancer cells

I am currently also working on conducting further analysis on the Random Telegraph Signal (RTS) patterns we saw on metastatic breast cancer cell recordings. Mainly, I am looking at separating and better quantifying the different noise components seen in these recordings.  An abstract for this work has been accepted at MDPI’s 1st International Electronic Conference on Biosensors (IECB 2020), and the conference will take place on 2-17 November 2020. 

Moving forward to PhD Research

These projects have proven invaluable as a starting point for my PhD. Although my background is in electronic engineering, these projects helped me develop a more critical perspective of the approaches and challenges involved in growing and recording from biological cells. Moving onto my PhD research, I will be focusing on the controlled growth of biological neurons to better understand their network dynamics, how these change over time, and how this could be used to inspire novel AI technologies. I am very excited to get started on such a fascinating interdisciplinary project which brings together engineering, psychology/neuroscience, and computer science!

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