An electrically conductive membrane implanted inside a model ear simulates cochlear hairs by converting sound waves into electrical pulses; wiring connects the prototype to a device that collects the output current signal.
CREDIT: Adapted from ACS Nano 2021; DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.1c04242
Some people are born with hearing loss, while others acquire it with age, infections or long-term noise exposures. In many instances, the tiny hairs in the inner ear’s cochlea that allow the brain to recognize electrical pulses as sound are damaged. As a step toward an advanced artificial cochlea, researchers in ACS Nano report a conductive membrane, which translated sound waves into matching electrical signals when implanted inside a model ear, without requiring external power.
When the hair cells inside the inner ear stop working, there’s no way to reverse the damage. Currently, treatment is limited to hearing aids or cochlear implants. But these devices require external power sources and can have difficulty amplifying speech correctly so that it’s understood by the user.
One possible solution is to simulate healthy cochlear hairs, converting noise into the electrical signals processed by the brain as recognizable sounds. To accomplish this, previous researchers have tried self-powered piezoelectric materials, which become charged when they’re compressed by the pressure that accompanies sound waves, and triboelectric materials, which produce friction and static electricity when moved by these waves.
However, the devices aren’t easy to make and don’t produce enough signal across the frequencies involved in human speech. So, Yunming Wang and colleagues wanted a simple way to fabricate a material that used both compression and friction for an acoustic sensing device with high efficiency and sensitivity across a broad range of audio frequencies.
To create a piezo-triboelectric material, the researchers mixed barium titanate nanoparticles coated with silicon dioxide into a conductive polymer, which they dried into a thin, flexible film. Next, they removed the silicon dioxide shells with an alkaline solution. This step left behind a sponge-like membrane with spaces around the nanoparticles, allowing them to jostle around when hit by sound waves. In tests, the researchers showed that contact between the nanoparticles and polymer increased the membrane’s electrical output by 55% compared to the pristine polymer.
When they sandwiched the membrane between two thin metal grids, the acoustic sensing device produced a maximum electrical signal at 170 hertz, a frequency within the range of most adult’s voices. Finally, the researchers implanted the device inside a model ear and played a music file. They recorded the electrical output and converted it into a new audio file, which displayed a strong similarity to the original version. The researchers say their self-powered device is sensitive to the wide acoustic range needed to hear most sounds and voices.
Original Article: Flexible device could treat hearing loss without batteries
The Latest on: Artificial cochlea
- Brain-Computer Interfaces: Separating Fact From Fiction On Musk’s Brain Implant Claimson July 31, 2022 at 5:01 pm
It’s a life-changing thing for every recipient of a successful cochlear implant ... and realize that the current state of the art for artificial neural networks are hugely simplified models ...
- Validating Software as a Medical Device (SaMD)on July 26, 2022 at 5:00 pm
Even cochlear implants can connect to smart phones directly via Bluetooth. Now we’ve reached the point where software is the medical device. While that seemed like sci-fi 20 years ago, advances in ...
- Artificial Pancreas Device System Market Future Innovations, Growth Elements, and Recent Development by 2030on July 26, 2022 at 4:26 am
Human-made bio-artificial organs known as artificial organs are inserted into the body to assist or replace natural organs. Cochlear implants, artificial kidneys, pancreas, and hearts are examples of ...
- Girl can now hear after UAE government pays Dh400,000 for cochlear implantson July 23, 2022 at 1:03 am
A girl now leads a normal life after the UAE government stepped in to pay Dh400,000 for her cochlear implants, electronic devices that improve hearing. Michelle Grace's mother, Dominique ...
- Artificial Cochlea Market Expected to Expand at a Steady 2022-2028 | Cochlear Ltd., MED-EL, Sonova Holding AG, and Advanced Bionics AG.on July 19, 2022 at 5:33 am
Artificial Cochlea Market report 2022 provides detailed study of market concentration rate of raw materials, sales, revenue, price trend by type, competitive landscape. The Artificial Cochlea ...
- Cochlear Implants Market 2019 Global Leading Growth Drivers, Emerging Audience, Industry Segments, Sales, Profits and Regional Studyon July 18, 2022 at 5:00 pm
In November 2018, researchers at Asan Medical Center (AMC) developed artificial intelligence (AI)-based prediction platform for cochlear implant surgery. The platform can provide rapid diagnoses ...
- Medical Bionic Implant Artificial Organs Market 2022 Growth, Size, Segmentation, Future Demands, Latest Innovation, Sales Revenueon July 14, 2022 at 4:13 am
Based on Technology the global Medical Bionic Implant /Artificial Organs market is segmented in Mechanical and Electronic. Orthofix International N.V., Biomet, Inc, Medtronic, Inc, Cochlear Ltd ...
- Why captions are suddenly everywhere and how they got thereon July 7, 2022 at 1:01 am
(A new cochlear implant has helped her a lot ... instead rely on what’s called automatic speech recognition, which uses artificial intelligence to learn and capture speech.
- Artificial Organs Market Size 2022 : long-term Calculated Business Plan by Recognizing Shifting Trends up to 2028 | 110 Report Pageson July 5, 2022 at 10:33 am
Artificial Uterus, Intraocular Lens, Cochlear Implant, Artificial Larynx), Regions and Forecast to 2028, the Artificial Organs Market Report Contains110pages Including Full TOC, Tables and Figures ...
via Bing News
The Latest on: Artificial cochlea
via Google News