Artificial sensory epithelium
January 4, 2021
A piezoelectric film and microelectrodes provide electric stimuli to spiral ganglion neurons to cover the entire human hearing range
Key Word : cochlear implant, frequency band, hearing therapy, implants, inner ear, microelectrodes, neuron, piezoelectric, sensory, sound
Background / Context / Abstract:
Serious sensorineural hearing loss cannot be compensated sufficiently even with the hearing aid. To tackle this problem, a cochlear implant has been proposed for remedy for serious sensorineural hearing loss. However, the cochlear implant cannot cover sounds in the entire range of the audible frequency band of humans.
The present invention provides an artificial sensory epithelium to be embedded in a cochlea of a patient. The artificial sensory epithelium includes a piezoelectric film and multitude microelectrodes arranged on the piezoelectric film. The piezoelectric film is arranged along a basilar membrane in the cochlea. A portion of the piezoelectric film that corresponds to a portion of the basilar membrane that is induced to vibrate by sound waves coming from outside of the cochlea vibrates. A microelectrode of the multitude microelectrodes that is arranged on the portion of the piezoelectric film provides electric stimuli to spiral ganglion neurons.
The present invention has been made in view the foregoing and has its object of providing a fully embeddable auxiliary device for sensorineural hearing loss that can cover sounds in the entire range of the audible frequency band of humans.
Potential Applications / Potential Markets:
The fully embeddable auxiliary device for sensorineural hearing loss that can cover sounds in the entire range of the audible frequency band of humans can recover the auditory sense of a patient whose inner ear is impaired.
State of Development / Opportunity / Seeking:
・Available for exclusive and non-exclusive licensing
・Exclusive/non-exclusive evaluation for defined period (set up for options)
WO2014/034843 (Issued: JP, US, EP, CN)