Update on the Optical Cochlear Implant
Tobias Moser a
a University Medical Center Göttingen, Robert-Koch-Straße, Göttingen, Germany
Proceedings of Neural Interfaces and Artificial Senses (NIAS)
Online, Spain, 2021 September 22nd - 23rd
Organizers: Tiago Costa and Georgios Spyropoulos
Invited Speaker, Tobias Moser, presentation 003
DOI: https://doi.org/10.29363/nanoge.nias.2021.003
Publication date: 13th September 2021

When hearing fails, cochlear implants (CIs) provide open speech perception to most of the currently half a million CI users. The major bottleneck of current CIs is the poor coding of spectral information, which results from wide current spread from each electrode contact. As light can be more conveniently confined, optical stimulation of the auditory nerve presents a promising perspective for a fundamental advance of CIs. We have been developing cochlear gene therapy and optical cochlear implants for more than a decade and are now planning the first clinical trial to be started in few years. The presentation will provide an update on the development of optogenetic hearing restoration. Recent breakthroughs include achieving high temporal fidelity and frequency resolution, estimation of the dynamic range of optogenetic stimulation and establishing multichannel optical CIs.

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