This structuring process aims at improving the function of these inner ear implants and thereby increase the hearing ability of people who are deaf or hearing impaired.
These implants use electric signals to stimulate the acoustic nerves in the cochlea. This project plans on using laser technology to structure the surface of these implants so that neurons can attach themselves more easily onto the implant, improving the transmission of the electric signals. At the same time, the growth of connective tissue will be reduced, since these cells affect the function of the electrodes negatively.
In order to achieve this goal, the LZH will use the extremely short pulses of a femtosecond (fs) laser to structure the surface of the implants, which consist of silicon and platinum. Using fs-laser technology, the surface can be structured without negatively influencing the conductivity or the biocompatibility of the implant.
The laser "cuts" 5 µm broad channels into the platinum electrode surface, making it easier for neurons to attach themselves onto the implant so that the stimulation of the acoustic nerve can be improved. At the same time, structuring of the surrounding surface can be used to hinder the growth of connective tissue.
First tests with cell growth experiments showed positive results. However, further tests are necessary before the micro-structured implants can actually be used in the human body. The long-term goal is to produce a cochlear implant that will improve hearing for many people.
The project is a cooperative effort between the ENT clinic of the Hannover Medical School, the Technische Universität Braunschweig and the Helmholtz-Centre for Infection Research. The project is supported by the German Research Foundation (DFG).
You can find the LZH press releases with pictures at www.laser-zentrum-hannover.de/en/ (English) under "publications/press releases"
Michael Botts | idw
Novel PET tracer identifies most bacterial infections
06.10.2017 | Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Teleoperating robots with virtual reality
05.10.2017 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology, CSAIL
Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
23.10.2017 | Event News
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
23.10.2017 | Life Sciences
23.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.10.2017 | Health and Medicine