3-D Printer Makes a Bionic Ear
The procedure, which took five years to develop, would help people who rely on cochlear implants to hear be able to differentiate a broader tonal range of sound, which would likely allow them to appreciate music.
"People with cochlear implants do well with understanding speech, but their perception of pitch can be poor, so they often miss out on the joy of music," said researcher Gary Housley.
The electrical pulses could be administered during the implant procedure.
"The surgeon who installs the device would inject the DNA solution into the cochlea and then fire electrical impulses to trigger the DNA transfer once the implant is inserted.," said study author Jeremy Pinyon.
Photo: This image shows regenerated auditory nerves after gene therapy (top) compared with no treatment (below). Credit: UNSW Translational Neuroscience Facility