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EUROPEAN DEVELOPMENT OF BIONICS VESTIBULAR IMPLANT FOR BILATERAL VESTIBULAR DYSFUNCTION

Project description

Novel bionic vestibular implant for vertigo patients

There is a high prevalence of vertigo of vestibular origin in the elderly, compromising routine activities and creating risks of falls and permanent functional disability. An estimated 100 million people worldwide could benefit from a vestibular implant that alleviates this condition. The EU-funded BionicVEST project aims to develop the first system to reproduce linear accelerations in the otolith organ by electrical stimulation. Its objectives include a study of the vestibular pathways through electrical saccule-utricle stimulation, the development of a telemetry system to evaluate the evoked action potential of the vestibular nerve, and the design, manufacturing and testing of the first vestibular prosthesis to demonstrate the safety of the implant.

Objective

Vertigo of vestibular origin has a global prevalence of 38% in the elderly and deserves special attention because
of the high risk of falls and permanent functional disability, and even death. This seriously handicaps their lives,
disabling them of doing routine daily activities, such as driving and even walking. The associated total costs are
around 60.000 million euros in Europe. It is estimated that at least 100 million people worldwide could benefit
from a vestibular implant as an effective solution to this disease. Restoring the function of the vestibular
labyrinths was not possible until now. Current devices, under research, detect change in angular velocity of the
cephalic movements through gyroscopes and use this information to stimulate the semicircular canals. However,
they do not code vertical and horizontal accelerations, used to sense gravitational forces, keep a stand up position
and restore the sense of self-position. Linear accelerations are detected by a different set of structures which are a
more complex and harder to access: the saccule and utricle. This project will develop the first system to
electrically reproduce linear accelerations in the otolith organ by stimulating their neural ends. The project will
have three phases: Device design, fabrication and clinical trial. Therefore, the objectives will be: 1) to study, for
the first time, vestibular pathways through electrical saccule-utricle stimulation; 2) to develop a vestibular
response telemetry system to analyse the evoked action potential of vestibular nerve; 3) to design, manufacture
and test the first vestibular prosthesis that restores the sense of linear accelerations. The main objectives are to
demonstrate the safety of a vestibular implant for human, to determine its efficacy in restoring vestibular function
by measuring the improvement in objective and to objectify the improvement in Quality of Life of patients.

Call for proposal

H2020-FETOPEN-2016-2017

See other projects for this call

Sub call

H2020-FETOPEN-1-2016-2017

Coordinator

SERVICIO CANARIO DE LA SALUD
Net EU contribution
€ 728 544,74
Address
Pérez de rozas, 5, 4 planta
38006 Santa cruz de tenerife
Spain

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Region
Canarias Canarias Tenerife
Activity type
Research Organisations
Links
Other funding
€ 0,00

Participants (6)