New System To Treat Middle Ear Problems
Researchers at the University of Dundee have developed new technology which could revolutionise the treatment of middle ear problems.
A team led by Professor Eric Abel have created the SMARTFIT system, a radically new approach to the design of ossicular replacement prostheses (the tiny bones in the ear), which aims to be the first commercial product to give a genuine replication of the physiological function of the middle ear.
“Hearing loss affects a large number of people and we are very optimistic that our new concept in prosthesis design will prove to be a technical and clinical success,” said Professor Abel, Professor of Biomedical Engineering & Head of the Division of Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics at the University.
“Most importantly, we hope that it will lead to an significant improvement in hearing for the large numbers of people who have conductive hearing loss.”
The technology is still be further developed and this will be carried out through commercial enterprise, either a new spinout company or through licensing agreement.
Commercialisation of the research has already received financial support from the Scottish Enterprise Proof of Concept programme.
“I and my colleague Dr Robert Mills are delighted to have received this Proof of Concept award from Scottish Enterprise,” said Prof Abel.
The SMARTFIT technology has the potential to create safer and more effective artificial `bone’ implants for the middle ear to restore hearing for people affected by Conductive Hearing Loss. SMARTFIT could greatly increase the number of restorative operations carried out for a condition which currently affects around eight million people in the western world.
Successful demonstration of the system could make a major impact on the Euro170 million market in ossicular prostheses. It would also boost Scotland’s standing in the valuable medical device sector, which has a global worth of over Euro75 billion.
The development of SMARTFIT, together with another spinout company already being established in Dundee to commercialise another hearing implant previously developed under an earlier Proof Of Concept-funded project, may lead to the creation of new jobs in Dundee and investment in a developing platform of advanced medical devices and smart materials technology.
The University has established a strong track record in commercial spin-outs of academic research. Recently four companies which have emerged from the University’s research base - Whole Life Consultants Ltd, Aktina Ltd, Lumenus Ltd and Calico Jack Ltd - were all honoured at the Scottish Executive’s SMART 2004 Awards, giving Dundee an unrivalled presence in the Science sector of the awards.
Roddy Isles | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
New technique promises tunable laser devices
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...