Electrode Implantation Trauma

Cochlear implants have transformed the lives of thousands of people

A cochlear implant is a small electronic device that can provide a sense of sound to people with profound deafness or severe hearing loss. Since their development in the 1980s, they have transformed the lives of over 325,000 patients1. Unlike a hearing aid, which makes sounds louder, cochlear implants work by bypassing the sensory hair cells that are damaged in these people and, instead, send impulses directly to the auditory nerve which carries sound signals to the brain. The device is made up of two parts. The first, external portion sits behind the ear and consists of a microphone, a sound processor and a transmitter. The second, internal portion contains the receiver / stimulator and the set of electrodes which are surgically implanted into the cochlea.

AudioCure is working to improve cochlear implant technology

An important clinical consideration when determining the implant options for patients with severe hearing loss is the possibility of a loss of the patient’s residual hearing following cochlear implantation. Such an electrode implantation trauma (EIT) may be caused by both direct tissue trauma and loss of the sensory hair cells following the surgical operation itself and indirectly by the release or activation of a number of molecular factors which can lead to chemical damage of the inner ear cells2. AudioCure is working in collaboration with MED-EL to develop a treatment that will reduce both the direct and indirect aspects of EIT.

References

  1. NIH Publication No. 00-4798 (2013-05-03). “Cochlear Implants”. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
  2. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, (2013) Cochlear Implants. NIH Publication No. 00-4798