Navigation Links
New cochlear implant could improve outcomes for patients

AUGUSTA, GA. More electrodes and a thinner, more flexible wire inserted further into the inner ear could improve conventional cochlear implants, a team of Medical College of Georgia and Georgia Institute of Technology researchers say.

Candidates for cochlear implantsan estimated million in the United States aloneinclude children and adults with profound deafness in both ears. An implant does not restore normal hearing but simulates sounds in the environment, including speech. More electrodes pick up more external sound and the flexible wire allows those sounds to be transmitted over more of the auditory nerves.

Researchers will present their findings about the new device at the 11th International Conference on Cochlear Implants and Other Auditory Implantable Technology in Stockholm, Sweden June 30 July 3.

The snail-shaped cochlea is difficult to access, particularly considering the multiple components involved in a cochlear implant, said Dr. Brian McKinnon, assistant professor of neurotology/otology in the Department of Otolaryngology in the MCG School of Medicine. Those components include of an external microphone, speech processor and transmitter and an internal group of electrodes arranged on a thin wire that stimulate the auditory nerve.

"The wire in traditional implants is fragile and thin and may buckle," he said. "We try to get it as far into the center of the cochlea, where the nerves are bundled, as possible the idea being that the more electrodes on the nerves, the better the sound."

Because they buckle, physicians typically can't optimally insert the wire, and electrodes can, in some cases, injure the cochlea, he said.

The new device, called the thin film array, pairs 12 electrodes on a thinner, more flexible wire. The wire's thinness has, so far, allowed surgeons to place more electrodes into the cochlea than they could with a conventional electrode. With more electrodes than standard models, the implant improves the quality of sound.

The array was developed in the Biosystems Interface Laboratory at the Georgia Institute of Technology by Assistant Professor Pamela Bhatti, a biomedical engineer, and Georgia Tech student Jessica Falcone. McKinnon and Dr. Kenneth Iverson, a third-year otolaryngology resident, tested it on cadaver models

"This device could mean could mean a several-fold improvement of the sound's resolution," Iverson said. "For the patient, it would be like the difference between hearing a Bach concerto played by a music box versus a quartet."

McKinnon compared the improvement to adding more fingers and more notes to a piano performance.

There are other benefits too.

"Because the thinner wire means less trauma to the ear, it could also mean more preservation of residual hearing for patients," Iverson said.


Contact: Toni Baker
Medical College of Georgia

Related biology news :

1. Technique yields potential biological substitute for dental implants
2. 20 years of PGD (pre-implantation genetic diagnosis)
3. Smart orthopedic implants and self-fitting tissue scaffolding created by UMMS researchers
4. New tissue-hugging implant maps heart electrical activity in unprecedented detail
5. New material mimics bone to create better biomedical implants
6. Smart coating opens door to safer hip, knee and dental implants
7. A step toward better brain implants using conducting polymer nanotubes
8. Scientists closer to making implantable bone material, thanks to new research
9. Preimplantation genetic diagnosis may pose neurological risks
10. Can a new implant coating technique create a new six million dollar man?
11. Female human embryos adjust the balance of X chromosomes before implantation
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
New cochlear implant could improve outcomes for patients
(Date:6/7/2016)... 2016  Syngrafii Inc. and San Antonio Credit ... includes integrating Syngrafii,s patented LongPen™ eSignature "Wet" solution ... will result in greater convenience for SACU members ... maintaining existing document workflow and compliance requirements. ... Highlights: ...
(Date:6/1/2016)... , June 1, 2016 ... in Election Administration and Criminal Identification to Boost Global ... a recently released TechSci Research report, " Global Biometrics ... Region, Competition Forecast and Opportunities, 2011 - 2021", the ... billion by 2021, on account of growing security concerns ...
(Date:5/9/2016)... , UAE, May 9, 2016 ... it comes to expanding freedom for high net worth ... Even in today,s globally connected world, there is still ... system could ever duplicate sealing your deal with a ... second passports by taking advantage of citizenship via investment ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016   EpiBiome , a precision ... million in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). ... and to advance its drug development efforts, as well ... "SVB has been an incredible strategic partner ... a traditional bank would provide," said Dr. Aeron ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... ... STACS DNA Inc., the sample tracking software company, today announced that Dr. ... STACS DNA as a Field Application Specialist. , “I am thrilled that Dr. ... STACS DNA. “In further expanding our capacity as a scientific integrator, Hays brings a ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Apellis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced ... of its complement C3 inhibitor, APL-2. The trials ... dose studies designed to assess the safety, tolerability, ... in healthy adult volunteers. Forty subjects ... single dose (ranging from 45 to 1,440mg) or ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 Andrew D ... Published recently in ... from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew D Zelenetz , discusses ... care is placing an increasing burden on healthcare ... therapies. With the patents on many biologics expiring, ...
Breaking Biology Technology: