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
Virtual Reality in Medicine: New Opportunities for Diagnostics and Surgical Planning
07.12.2016 | Universität Basel
3-D printed kidney phantoms aid nuclear medicine dosing calibration
06.12.2016 | Society of Nuclear Medicine
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
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...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine