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ACTive Implant for Optoacoustic Natural sound enhancement

Objective

The ACTION project builds on the recent discovery that relatively low levels of pulsed infrared laser light are capable of triggering activity in hair cells of the partially hearing (hearing impaired) cochlea and vestibule. So far the excessively large volume of optical fibre systems and external light sources used for animal studies prevented the practical use of this discovery for long term animal research devices or for human grade implants. ACTION aims to develop a self-contained, smart, highly miniaturised system to provide optoacoustic stimuli directly from the electrode array of a cochlear implant system. The resultant neural cell response will be electrically recorded and direct feedback to the light source will be provided to enable automated, objective hearing threshold assessment and optimization of sound feature coding enhancements for improved quality of the acoustic sound. The new implant is aimed to lead to more effective non-contact treatment, as a device with intra-cochlear sound sources offers many potential advantages over a traditional in the ear hearing aid/speech processor combination. This approach will at the same time avoid damage of neural tissue by high electrical current, and introduction of high-frequency artifacts to the recording signal. Biocompatible, long-term implantable materials for micropackage and integration principles for the light sources (specific pulsed vertical cavity surface emitting lasers optimized for optical neurostimulation) will be selected. The project includes neural response measurements and communication between discrete elements to achieve robust and reliable miniature standalone devices with high acceptance within the medical sector. Pre-clinical tests for optoacoustic cochlear implants will be an integral part of the project.
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Coordinator

CSEM CENTRE SUISSE D'ELECTRONIQUE ET DE MICROTECHNIQUE SA - RECHERCHE ET DEVELOPPEMENT

Address

Rue Jaquet Droz 1
2000 Neuchatel

Switzerland

Activity type

Research Organisations

EU Contribution

€ 895 623

Administrative Contact

Mark FRETZ (Dr.)

Participants (7)

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MED-EL Elektromedizinische Geraete GmbH

Austria

EU Contribution

€ 232 965

SUSS MICROOPTICS SA

Switzerland

EU Contribution

€ 220 992

VERTILAS GMBH

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 447 625

MEDIZINISCHE HOCHSCHULE HANNOVER

Germany

EU Contribution

€ 526 838

Teknologian tutkimuskeskus VTT Oy

Finland

TEKNOLOGIAN TUTKIMUSKESKUS VTT

Finland

EU Contribution

€ 434 165

STMICROELECTRONICS SRL

Italy

EU Contribution

€ 233 792

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 611230

Status

Closed project

  • Start date

    1 October 2013

  • End date

    31 December 2016

Funded under:

FP7-ICT

  • Overall budget:

    € 4 224 451

  • EU contribution

    € 2 992 000

Coordinated by:

CSEM CENTRE SUISSE D'ELECTRONIQUE ET DE MICROTECHNIQUE SA - RECHERCHE ET DEVELOPPEMENT

Switzerland

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