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
3-D visualization of the pancreas -- new tool in diabetes research
15.03.2017 | Umea University
New PET radiotracer identifies inflammation in life-threatening atherosclerosis
02.03.2017 | Society of Nuclear Medicine
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
24.03.2017 | Materials Sciences
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy