Research ArticleNEUROTECHNOLOGY

Multichannel optogenetic stimulation of the auditory pathway using microfabricated LED cochlear implants in rodents

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Science Translational Medicine  22 Jul 2020:
Vol. 12, Issue 553, eabb8086
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.abb8086

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Honing hearing restoration

Cochlear implants provide the brain with auditory information as a treatment for hearing impairment, but electrical implants suffer from channel cross-talk, which can limit the quality of hearing. Keppeler et al. developed multichannel LED cochlear implants that use optogenetics to stimulate spiral ganglion neurons. Testing in rats and gerbils demonstrated improved spectral selectivity and hearing restoration. This study provides the groundwork for further design optimization and scaling of LED-based optical cochlear implants toward clinical translation.

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