Bionic hearing

The most common cause of deafness is damage to the sensitive hair cells of the inner ear (cochlea), known as sensorineural hearing loss.

For people with the most severe hearing loss, the only therapeutic intervention available is the cochlear implant.

Research at the Bionics Institute is aimed at improving the performance of the cochlear implant through developing techniques to improve the function of the hearing nerve, sound processing research to enhance the perception of speech, and investigation of how the brain responds to long-term artificial stimulation.

Projects

EarGenie™: Personalised management of hearing impairment for infants

Diagnosing regions of poor cochlear health in cochlear implant users

Understanding why a proportion of adults with a cochlear implant do not understand speech well

Automatic programming for cochlear implants

The role of intensity discrimination on speech perception with a cochlear implant

Opening windows to the listening brain

Electro-acoustic hearing

Using nanoparticles to deliver nerve survival factors to the deaf cochlea

Protecting hearing with nanoengineered drug delivery systems

Protecting and regenerating hair cells with gene therapy

Protecting auditory nerve cells using gene therapy

Optogenetics for optical stimulation of auditory neurons

Recent findings and outcomes

Molecular biology of hearing loss

Protecting auditory nerve cells using neurotrophin cells

Protecting auditory nerve cells using gene therapy and cell implants

The bionic ear and brain plasticity

Auditory neuron responses to electrical stimulation from a bionic ear

Improving sound perception for people with cochlear implants and hearing aids

 

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