23 April 2014
Vol 6, Issue 233

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

ONLINE COVER The Bionic Ear. Cochlear implants—or "bionic ears"—have allowed deaf individuals to hear again but are still limited in noisy environments and in tonal quality. To enhance the bionic ear, Pinyon and colleagues outfitted a commercial device with an electrode array, and then used "close-field electroporation" to deliver the growth factor gene BDNF to cells in the cochlea. The device was implanted into the cochleae of deafened guinea pigs (shown on the cover). Gene delivery stimulated regeneration of spiral ganglion neurites, improving function and dynamic range of the cochlear implant. See related Focus by Shepherd. [CREDIT: T. HUNG, A. KWEK, J. PINYON, AND G. HOUSLEY/UNSW AUSTRALIA AND THE NATIONAL IMAGING FACILITY OF AUSTRALIA]