Nanotechnology, neuromodulation & the immune response: Discourse, materiality & ethics

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1 Scopus citations


Drawing upon the American Pragmatic tradition in philosophy and the more recent work of philosopher Karen Barad, this paper examines how scientific problems are both obscured, and resolved by our use of language describing the natural world. Using the example of the immune response engendered by neural implants inserted in the brain, the author explains how this discourse has been altered by the advent of nanotechnology methods and devices which offer putative remedies that might temper the immune response in the central nervous system. This emergent nanotechnology has altered this problem space and catalyzed one scientific community to acknowledge a material reality that was always present, if not fully acknowledged.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBiomedical Microdevices
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2015


  • Discourse
  • Ethics
  • Immune response
  • Karen Barad
  • Materials
  • NanoGagliato
  • Nanotechnology
  • Neuroethics
  • Neuromodulation
  • Philosophy of science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Molecular Biology


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