Graeme Clark Collection
Now showing items 1-12 of 896
Enhanced auditory neuron survival following cell-based BDNF treatment in the deaf guinea pig
Exogenous neurotrophin delivery to the deaf cochlea can prevent deafness-induced auditory neuron degeneration, however, we have previously reported that these survival effects are rapidly lost if the treatment stops. In addition, there are concerns that current experimental techniques are not safe enough to be used clinically. Therefore, for such treatments to be clinically transferable, methods of neurotrophin treatment that are safe, biocompatible and can support long-term auditory neuron survival are necessary. Cell transplantation and gene transfer, combined with encapsulation technologies, have the potential to address these issues. This study investigated the survival-promoting effects of encapsulated BDNF over-expressing Schwann cells on auditory neurons in the deaf guinea pig. In comparison to control (empty) capsules, there was significantly greater auditory neuron survival following the cell-based BDNF treatment. Concurrent use of a cochlear implant is expected to result in even greater auditory neuron survival, and provide a clinically relevant method to support auditory neuron survival that may lead to improved speech perception and language outcomes for cochlear implant patients.
Biocompatibility of immobilized aligned carbon nanotubes
In vivo host responses to an electrode-like array of aligned carbon nanotubes (ACNTs) embedded within a biopolymer sheet are reported. This biocompatibility study assesses the suitability of immobilized carbon nanotubes for bionic devices. Inflammatory responses and foreign-body histiocytic reactions are not substantially elevated when compared to negative controls following 12 weeks implantation. A fibrous capsule isolates the implanted ACNTs from the surrounding muscle tissue. Filamentous nanotube fragments are engulfed by macrophages, and globular debris is incorporated into the fibrous capsule with no further reaction. Scattered leukocytes are observed, adherent to the ACNT surface. These data indicate that there is a minimal local foreign-body response to immobilized ACNTs, that detached fragments are phagocytosed into an inert material, and that ACNTs do not attract high levels of surface fouling. Collectively, these results suggest that immobilized nanotube structures should be considered for further investigation as bionic components.
Can we prevent cochlear implant recipients from developing pneumococcal meningitis
(Oxford University Press, 2008)
The restoration of hearing to persons with severely or profoundly impaired hearing by means of a cochlear implant is one of the great achievements of bionics applied to medicine. However, pneumococcal meningitis in implant recipients has received high profile public attention as a result of the US Food and Drug Administration's public health notification and recent media attention. Worldwide, 118 of the 60,000 people who received cochlear implants over the past 20 years have acquired meningitis, causing deep concern in the international medical community. This review provides answers to pediatricians, internists, and infectious diseases doctors who have patients with cochlear implants and who have questions about the safety of the cochlear implant from both the clinical and scientific research perspectives. Both clinical and laboratory research support the notion that pneumococcal meningitis is more likely in patients who receive cochlear implantation, and that the surgical insertion technique and the cochlear implant design should be nontraumatic, and that all cochlear implant recipients should be offered vaccination against Streptococcus pneumoniae.
Wet-spun biodegradable fibres on conducting platforms: novel architectures for muscle regeneration
(Wiley InterScience, 2009)
Novel biosynthetic platforms supporting ex vivo growth of partially differentiated muscle cells in an aligned linear orientation that is consistent with the structural requirements of muscle tissue are described. These platforms consist of biodegradable polymer fibers spatially aligned on a conducting polymer substrate. Long multinucleated myotubes are formed from differentiation of adherent myoblasts, which align longitudinally to the fiber axis to form linear cell-seeded biosynthetic fiber constructs. The biodegradable polymer fibers bearing undifferentiated myoblasts can be detached from the substrate following culture. The ability to remove the muscle cell-seeded polymer fibers when required provides the means to use the biodegradable fibers as linear muscle-seeded scaffold components suitable for in vivo implantation into muscle. These fibers are shown to promote differentiation of muscle cells in a highly organized linear unbranched format in vitro and thereby potentially facilitate more stable integration into recipient tissue, providing structural support and mechanical protection for the donor cells. In addition, the conducting substrate on which the fibers are placed provides the potential to develop electrical stimulation paradigms for optimizing the ex vivo growth and synchronization of muscle cells on the biodegradable fibers prior to implantation into diseased or damaged muscle tissue.
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.
Optimizing dynamic range in children using the nucleus cochlear implant
(Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2004)
Objective: The aim of this study was to investigate the benefits of the preprocessing scheme “Adaptive Dynamic Range Optimization” (ADRO) in children using Nucleus cochlear implants. Previous research with adults indicates improved speech perception in quiet and improved sound quality in everyday listening environments with the ADRO scheme. Design: Children were given 4 wk of take-home experience with ADRO, with a minimum of 2 wk in which ADRO was “locked-in.” After 1 wk of ADRO use and again after 4 wk of ADRO use, Bench- Kowal-Bamford (BKB) sentence perception in quiet at a low input level of 50 dB SPL (unweighted root mean square) and sentence perception in noise were compared with the child’s everyday (Standard) program and the ADRO program. Children also rated the loudness of a variety of environmental sounds and indicated which program provided the best hearing in a variety of everyday listening situations. Results: On average, BKB sentence perception in quiet at 50 dB SPL was significantly better with the ADRO program compared with the Standard program. The group mean improvement was 8.60%. Similarly, group mean scores for BKB sentences presented at 65 dB SPL in multitalker babble were significantly higher with the ADRO program (an improvement of 6.87%). The ADRO program was the preferred program in 46% of the listening situations, whereas the Standard program was preferred in 26% of situations. Everyday sounds were not unacceptably loud with ADRO. Conclusions: There was an ADRO benefit for this group of children in quiet and in noise. These findings suggest that young children would benefit from the ADRO programming option being locked in along with other processor settings in the SPrint processor once their MAP levels have stabilized. Some older children and teenagers may choose to use ADRO selectively for specific listening situations.