What does it actually look like deep inside our ears? This is has been very difficult to study as the inner ear is protected by the hardest bone in the body. But with the help of synchrotron X-rays, it is now possible to depict details inside the ear three-dimensionally. Together with Canadian colleagues, researchers from Uppsala University have used the method to map the blood vessels of the inner ear.
The study, which was published in the scientific journal Scientific Reports, can provide an explanation for why it is so effective to treat deafness in people with cochlear implants (CI). This is a method that means that an electrode that electrically stimulates the auditory nerve is operated into the inner ear.
To-date, around 500,000 people worldwide have been treated with this technique. In Uppsala, the operation is also performed on patients with severe hearing loss, but who can perceive sounds with lower frequencies.
“We need to get better at understanding the micro-anatomy of the human auditory organ and how electrodes operated in affect structures in the cochlea. It can lead to an improved electrode design and better hearing results. 3D reconstructions mean that we can study new surgical paths to the auditory nerve,” says Helge Rask-Andersen, Senior Professor in Experimental Otology at the Department of Surgical Sciences.
To be able to study the blood vessels in the inner auditory organ, the researchers used the synchrotron system in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.
The system, which is one of eight in the world, is as large as a football pitch and accelerates particles with very high energy. This makes it possible to create pictures of the smallest parts of the inner ear. Through computer processing, the images can then be made three-dimensional.
The researchers hope the method in the future can contribute to new knowledge about diseases of the ear, such as Meniere’s disease, sudden deafness and tinnitus, the causes of which are still largely unknown. But as yet, it is not possible to study living patients with this technique. The radiation is too strong.
“We study specimens from the deceased, meaning donated temporal bones. We hope that the technology can be modified in the future to achieve better resolution than today,” says Helge Rask-Andersen.
For further information, please contact: Helge Rask-Andersen, Senior Professor at the Department of Surgical Sciences, Otorhinolaryngology and Head and Neck Surgery, Uppsala University
Phone: +46 70 611 02 67
Xueshuang Mei et al. (2020), Vascular Supply of the Human Spiral Ganglion: Novel Three-Dimensional Analysis Using Synchrotron Phase-Contrast Imaging and Histology, Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-62653-0
Linda Koffmar | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
High-resolution 3D view inside breast tumors with opto-acoustic mesoscopy
27.05.2020 | Technische Universität München
New double-contrast technique picks up small tumors on MRI
26.05.2020 | University of California - Davis
In living cells, enzymes drive biochemical metabolic processes enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very ability which allows them to be used as catalysts in biotechnology, for example to create chemical products such as pharmaceutics. Researchers now identified an enzyme that, when illuminated with blue light, becomes catalytically active and initiates a reaction that was previously unknown in enzymatics. The study was published in "Nature Communications".
Enzymes: they are the central drivers for biochemical metabolic processes in every living cell, enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very...
Early detection of tumors is extremely important in treating cancer. A new technique developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from normal tissue. The work is published May 25 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.
researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from...
Microelectronics as a key technology enables numerous innovations in the field of intelligent medical technology. The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT coordinates the BMBF cooperative project "I-call" realizing the first electronic system for ultrasound-based, safe and interference-resistant data transmission between implants in the human body.
When microelectronic systems are used for medical applications, they have to meet high requirements in terms of biocompatibility, reliability, energy...
Thomas Heine, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at TU Dresden, together with his team, first predicted a topological 2D polymer in 2019. Only one year later, an international team led by Italian researchers was able to synthesize these materials and experimentally prove their topological properties. For the renowned journal Nature Materials, this was the occasion to invite Thomas Heine to a News and Views article, which was published this week. Under the title "Making 2D Topological Polymers a reality" Prof. Heine describes how his theory became a reality.
Ultrathin materials are extremely interesting as building blocks for next generation nano electronic devices, as it is much easier to make circuits and other...
Scientists took a leukocyte as the blueprint and developed a microrobot that has the size, shape and moving capabilities of a white blood cell. Simulating a blood vessel in a laboratory setting, they succeeded in magnetically navigating the ball-shaped microroller through this dynamic and dense environment. The drug-delivery vehicle withstood the simulated blood flow, pushing the developments in targeted drug delivery a step further: inside the body, there is no better access route to all tissues and organs than the circulatory system. A robot that could actually travel through this finely woven web would revolutionize the minimally-invasive treatment of illnesses.
A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart invented a tiny microrobot that resembles a white blood cell...
19.05.2020 | Event News
07.04.2020 | Event News
06.04.2020 | Event News
27.05.2020 | Information Technology
27.05.2020 | Health and Medicine
27.05.2020 | Health and Medicine