The research will aim to understand why some eardrums heal by themselves (and why some do not heal at all) by identifying which genes are responsible for the wound-healing process of an infected human ear drum.
According to the World Health Organisation, almost half of the world’s population suffers from ’chronic otitis media’ – more commonly known as an ear infection – which causes hearing loss and can lead to more serious disorders such as meningitis.
Ear infections can occur when ear drums burst as a result of a loud explosion, trauma or most commonly by infection spread by a common cold or sore throat.
LEHI’s Senior Research Scientist Dr Reza Ghassemifar, said he was looking forward to starting the three-year research project after securing a $238,600 grant from the Garnett Passe and Rodney William Memorial Foundation.
"With this funding we can start our studies to understand how wounds in ear drums heal themselves by examining the cells and molecules in the replacement tissue," Dr Ghassemifar said.
"Through DNA or gene profiling of animal models we hope to learn which molecules are active as the ear drum heals and we will then target those to speed up the healing process."
Dr Ghassemifar said the clinical research into the wound healing process was a major milestone towards LEHI’s major tissue engineering project of growing a replacement human ear drum.
"If we can understand how an ear drum heals itself we can help clinicians identify new techniques to speed up the healing process for sufferers of ear infections.
"Ear infections are a major worldwide health problem and it is common for an average person to take up to 10 years before they receive medical treatment.
"We tend to ignore ear infections thinking they will go away or we might have a reluctance to visit the doctor – but in third-world countries the problem is common due to the lack of available treatment," he said.
Dr Ghassemifar said the results of other gene targeting research have indicated that gene therapy (to target wound healing genes) could prevent wound scarring and be potentially applied to clinical scar treatments.
Professor Marcus Atlas, Director of LEHI, said that Dr Ghassemifar’s work in LEHI’s Tissue Engineering Laboratory is potentially ground breaking.
"Chronic otitis media is a major problem throughout the world and particularly affects the indigenous Australian population. These studies have the potential to help greatly", Professor Atlas said.
John Williams | EurekAlert!
Closing the carbon loop
08.12.2016 | University of Pittsburgh
Newly discovered bacteria-binding protein in the intestine
08.12.2016 | University of Gothenburg
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
08.12.2016 | Life Sciences
08.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy
08.12.2016 | Materials Sciences