Otolaryngology - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 56
Gentamicin administration on the stapes footplate causes greater hearing loss and vestibulotoxicity than round window administration in guinea pigs
Clinically, gentamicin has been used extensively to treat the debilitating symptoms of Meniere's disease and is well known for its vestibulotoxic properties. Until recently, it was widely accepted that the round window membrane (RWM) was the primary entry route into the inner ear following intratympanic drug administration. In the current study, gentamicin was delivered to either the RWM or the stapes footplate of guinea pigs (GPs) to assess the associated hearing loss and histopathology associated with each procedure. Vestibulotoxicity of the utricular macula, saccular macula, and crista ampullaris in the posterior semicircular canal were assessed quantitatively with density counts of hair cells, supporting cells, and stereocilia in histological sections. Cochleotoxicity was assessed quantitatively by changes in threshold of auditory brainstem responses (ABR), along with hair cell and spiral ganglion cell counts in the basal and second turns of the cochlea. Animals receiving gentamicin applied to the stapes footplate exhibited markedly higher levels of hearing loss between 8 and 32 kHz, a greater reduction of outer hair cells in the basal turn of the cochlea and fewer normal type I cells in the utricle in the vestibule than those receiving gentamicin on the RWM or saline controls. This suggests that gentamicin more readily enters the ear when applied to the stapes footplate compared with RWM application. These data provide a potential explanation for why gentamicin preferentially ablates vestibular function while preserving hearing following transtympanic administration in humans.
Research directions for future generations of cochlear implants
(Whurr Publishers Ltd, 2004)
Physiological and psychophysical research indicates that improved hearing in noise and music appreciation are likely with cochlear implants, with better reproduction of the fine temporospatial patterns of neural response in the auditory pathways due to phase differences in neuron firing patterns as the result of the basilar membrane travelling wave. An initial speech-processing strategy, to in part reproduce this information, is showing better frequency discrimination and musical perception. However, more exact reproduction is likely with a new generation electrode array which could involve the use of neurotrophins and inherently conducting polymers. The siting and design of this, as well as safety, needs further investigation before it is implemented.
(American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 2009)
Electrode materials that facilitate interaction with living cells are crucial for the development of next-generation bionic devices.
Influence of Cochleostomy and Cochlear Implant Insertion on Drug Gradients following Intratympanic Application in Guinea Pigs
Locally applied drugs can protect residual hearing following cochlear implantation. The influence of cochlear implantation on drug levels in the scala tympani (ST) after round window application was investigated in guinea pigs using the marker trimethylphenylammonium (TMPA) measured in real time with TMPA-selective microelectrodes. TMPA concentration in the upper basal turn of the ST rapidly increased during implantation and then declined due to cerebrospinal fluid entering the ST at the cochlear aqueduct and exiting at the cochleostomy. The TMPA increase was found to be caused by the cochleostomy drilling if the burr tip partially entered the ST. TMPA distribution in the second turn was less affected by implantation procedures. These findings show that basal turn drug levels may be changed during implantation and the changes may need to be considered in the interpretation of therapeutic effects of drugs in conjunction with implantation.
Relations between cochlear histopathology and hearing loss in experimental cochlear implantation
This study reviews the cochlear histology from four hearing preservation cochlear implantation experiments conducted on 73 guinea pigs from our institution, and relates histopathological findings to residual hearing. All guinea pigs had normal hearing prior to surgery and underwent cochlear implantation via a cochleostomy with a silastic-platinum dummy electrode. Pure tone auditory brainstem response (ABR) thresholds from 2 to 32 kHz were recorded prior to surgery, and at one and four weeks postoperatively. The cochleae were then fixed in paraformaldehyde, decalcified, paraffin embedded, and mid-modiolar sections were prepared. The treatment groups were as follows: 1) Systemic dexamethasone, 0.2 mg/kg administered 1 h before implantation, 2) Local dexamethasone, 2% applied topically to the round window for 30 min prior to cochlear implantation, 3) Local n-acetyl cysteine, 200 μg applied topically to the round window for 30 min prior to implantation, 4) inoculation to keyhole-limpet hemocyanin (KLH) prior to implantation, and 5) untreated controls. There was a significant correlation between the extent of the tissue reaction in the cochlea and the presence of foreign body giant cells (FBGCs), new bone formation and injury to the osseous spiral lamina (OSL). The extent of the tissue response, as a percentage of the area of the scala tympani, limited the best hearing that was observed four weeks after cochlear implantation. Poorer hearing at four weeks correlated with a more extensive tissue response, lower outer hair cell (OHC) counts and OSL injury in the basal turn. Progressive hearing loss was also correlated with the extent of tissue response. Hearing at 2 kHz, which corresponds to the region of the second cochlear turn, did not correspond with loco-regional inner hair cell (IHC), OHC or SGC counts. We conclude that cochlear injury is associated with poorer hearing early after implantation. The tissue response is related to indices of cochlear inflammation and injury. An extensive tissue response limits hearing at four weeks, and correlates with progressive hearing loss. These latter effects may be due to inflammation, but would also be consistent with interference of cochlear mechanics.
Evaluation of focused multipolar stimulation for cochlear implants in long-term deafened cats
(IOP PUBLISHING LTD, 2015-06-01)
OBJECTIVE: Focused multipolar (FMP) stimulation has been shown to produce restricted neural activation using intracochlear stimulation in animals with a normal population of spiral ganglion neurons (SGNs). However, in a clinical setting, the widespread loss of SGNs and peripheral fibres following deafness is expected to influence the effectiveness of FMP. APPROACH: We compared the efficacy of FMP stimulation to both monopolar (MP) and tripolar (TP) stimulation in long-term deafened cat cochleae (n = 8). Unlike our previous study, these cochleae contained <10% of the normal SGN population adjacent to the electrode array. We also evaluated the effect of electrode position on stimulation modes by using either modiolar facing or lateral wall facing half-band electrodes. The spread of neural activity across the inferior colliculus, a major nucleus within the central auditory pathway, was used as a measure of spatial selectivity. MAIN RESULTS: In cochleae with significant SGN degeneration, we observed that FMP and TP stimulation resulted in greater spatial selectivity than MP stimulation (p < 0.001). However, thresholds were significantly higher for FMP and TP stimulation compared to MP stimulation (p < 0.001). No difference between FMP and TP stimulation was found in any measures. The high threshold levels for FMP stimulation was significantly reduced without compromising spatial selectivity by varying the degree of current focusing (referred as 'partial-FMP' stimulation). Spatial selectivity of all stimulation modes was unaffected by the electrode position. Finally, spatial selectivity in long-term deafened cochleae was significantly less than that of cochleae with normal SGN population (George S S et al 2014 J. Neural Eng. 11 065003). SIGNIFICANCE: The present results indicate that the greater spatial selectivity of FMP and TP stimulation over MP stimulation is maintained in cochleae with significant neural degeneration and is not adversely affected by electrode position. The greater spatial selectivity of FMP and TP stimulation would be expected to result in improved clinical performance.
Evaluation of focused multipolar stimulation for cochlear implants in acutely deafened cats
(IOP PUBLISHING LTD, 2014-12-01)
OBJECTIVE: The conductive nature of the fluids and tissues of the cochlea can lead to broad activation of spiral ganglion neurons using contemporary cochlear implant stimulation configurations such as monopolar (MP) stimulation. The relatively poor spatial selectivity is thought to limit implant performance, particularly in noisy environments. Several current focusing techniques have been proposed to reduce the spread of activation with the aim towards achieving improved clinical performance. APPROACH: The present research evaluated the efficacy of focused multipolar (FMP) stimulation, a relatively new focusing technique in the cochlea, and compared its efficacy to both MP stimulation and tripolar (TP) stimulation. The spread of neural activity across the inferior colliculus (IC), measured by recording the spatial tuning curve, was used as a measure of spatial selectivity. Adult cats (n = 6) were acutely deafened and implanted with an intracochlear electrode array before multi-unit responses were recorded across the cochleotopic gradient of the contralateral IC. Recordings were made in response to acoustic and electrical stimulation using the MP, TP and FMP configurations. MAIN RESULTS: FMP and TP stimulation resulted in greater spatial selectivity than MP stimulation. However, thresholds were significantly higher (p < 0.001) for FMP and TP stimulation compared to MP stimulation. There were no differences found in spatial selectivity and threshold between FMP and TP stimulation. SIGNIFICANCE: The greater spatial selectivity of FMP and TP stimulation would be expected to result in improved clinical performance. However, further research will be required to demonstrate the efficacy of these modes of stimulation after longer durations of deafness.
A beamformer post-filter for cochlear implant noise reduction
(ACOUSTICAL SOC AMER AMER INST PHYSICS, 2013-04-01)
Cochlear implant users have limited ability to understand speech in noisy conditions. Signal processing methods to address this issue that use multiple microphones typically use beamforming to perform noise reduction. However, the effectiveness of the beamformer is diminished as the number of interfering noises increases and the acoustic environment becomes more diffuse. A multi-microphone noise reduction algorithm that aims to address this issue is presented in this study. The algorithm uses spatial filtering to estimate the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and attenuates time-frequency elements that have poor SNR. The algorithm was evaluated by measuring intelligibility of speech embedded in 4-talker babble where the interfering talkers were spatially separated and changed location during the test. Twelve cochlear implant users took part in the evaluation, which demonstrated a significant mean improvement of 4.6 dB (standard error 0.4, P < 0.001) in speech reception threshold compared to an adaptive beamformer. The results suggest that a substantial improvement in performance can be gained for cochlear implant users in noisy environments where the noise is spatially separated from the target speech.
Personal reflections on the multichannel cochlear implant and a view of the future
(JOURNAL REHAB RES & DEV, 2008-01-01)
The multichannel cochlear implant is the first neural prosthesis to effectively and safely bring electronic technology into a direct physiological relation with the central nervous system and human consciousness. It is also the first cochlear implant to give speech understanding to tens of thousands of persons with profound deafness and spoken language to children born deaf in more than 80 countries. In so doing, it is the first major advance in research and technology to help deaf children communicate since Sign Language of the Deaf was developed at the Paris deaf school (L'Institut National de Jeunes Sourds de Paris) >200 years ago. Furthermore, biomedical research has been fundamental for ensuring that the multielectrode implant is safe as well as effective. More recent research has also shown that bilateral implants confer the benefits of binaural hearing. Future research using nanotechnology should see high-fidelity sound received, which would help deaf persons communicate in noise and enjoy music. Research should also lead to implants in ears with useful hearing.