Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Hearing Manipulated By Electronics

Date:
July 10, 2009
Source:
Linkoeping Universitet
Summary:
An implanted electronic ion pump in organic material can be used to carry signals to specific cells in the nervous system and in this way treat various illnesses. In a unique study, researchers have used the pumps to successfully manipulate the hearing in laboratory animals. The technique represents a breakthrough for the machine-to-brain interface, with opportunities for greater symbiosis between electronics and biological systems.

An implanted electronic ion pump in organic material can be used to carry signals to specific cells in the nervous system and in this way treat various illnesses. In a unique study, researchers at Link๖ping University (LiU) and Karolinska Institutet (KI) have used the pumps to successfully manipulate the hearing in laboratory animals.

Related Articles


The technique which is described in an article in the journal Nature Materials represents a breakthrough for the machine-to-brain interface, with opportunities for greater symbiosis between electronics and biological systems.

“In the future we envisage a wirelessly controlled and permanent implant”, says Magnus Berggren, Professor of Organic Electronics at LiU and one of the authors of the article.

The small electrically charged organic molecules that transmit signals between nerve cells are known as neurotransmitters. The most important substance in the cochlea is glutamate, which regulates signals from the inner hair cells to the auditory nerve. But excessive quantities of glutamate can be toxic and lead to cell depletion.

To test their idea of selectively transporting neurotransmitters electronically the researchers used the hearing organ in guinea pigs as a model system. The tip of an ion pump, with similar design to a small syringe, was inserted in animals under anaesthesia near the membrane in the inner ear called the round window. When the power was switched on exact doses of glutamate were delivered via an electrically charged plastic film and diffused through the round window to the intended target, the hair cells.

By measuring the auditory response of the brainstem the researchers were able to study what was happening as the transport of glutamate was taking place.  After one hour the glutamate concentration reached levels where the result was loss of hearing.

The tests show how the ion pump can be used to control the supply of neurotransmitters and to direct them to specific cell types.

Osmotic pumps are today used to transport the substances in a liquid, risking over-dosage, leaking and excessive pressure in small spaces, for example in the cochlea

“The ability to deliver exact doses of signal substances creates brand new opportunities for future corrections of signal systems that fail in many neurological illnesses”, says Professor Agneta Richter-Dahlfors at KI, who together with Magnus Berggren is leading the research at the SSF financed OBOE Center.  Tests on guinea pigs were carried out in Barbara Canlons laboratories at Karolinska Institutet.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Linkoeping Universitet. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Daniel T. Simon, Sindhulakshmi Kurup, Karin C. Larsson, Ryusuke Hori, Klas Tybrandt, Michel Goiny, Edwin WH Jager, Magnus Berggren, and Agneta Richter-Dahlfors. Organic Electronics for Precise Delivery of Neurotransmitters to Modulate Mammalian Sensory Function. Nature Materials, (in press)

Cite This Page:

Linkoeping Universitet. "Hearing Manipulated By Electronics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090707094906.htm>.
Linkoeping Universitet. (2009, July 10). Hearing Manipulated By Electronics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090707094906.htm
Linkoeping Universitet. "Hearing Manipulated By Electronics." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090707094906.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Milestone Birthdays Can Bring Existential Crisis, Study Says

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers find that as people approach new decades in their lives they make bigger life decisions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
You Don't Have To Be Alcohol Dependent To Need Treatment

You Don't Have To Be Alcohol Dependent To Need Treatment

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found 9 out of 10 excessive drinkers in the country are not alcohol dependent. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Your Complicated Job Might Keep Your Brain Young

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) — Researchers at the University of Edinburgh found the more complex your job is, the sharper your cognitive skills will likely be as you age. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins