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Notes from Cochlear Implant Conference in Daegu, South Korea

November 5th, 2011 by | Tags: , | Comments Off

A couple weeks ago, Cochlear Implant Conference in Daegu, South Korea was held.  Doo Hee Kim was generous to take notes and share information about the presentations at the conference.

1. NEPTUNE™: The world’s first swimmable processor (Jane Bevan)

Oct. 25, 2011

NEPTUNE™ is the latest sound processor of Advanced Bionics. It is consists of sound processor, sound processor cover, sound processor controller with AUX connector, cable and headpiece et al. There are two kinds of cable for conventional use and waterproof. And two kinds of headpiece also provided for conventional use and waterproof. Waterproof headpiece is a little bit bigger than conventional one.

Sound processor, sound processor cover, waterproof cable and waterproof headpiece are the combination for the swimmable CI system. It can be worked under water (below 3 meters. the AB employee’s comment). So, the recipients can swim with working CI. The processor is attached clothes or swimsuit by plastic clip (not BTE type). The new coding strategy ClearVoice provides better performance in noise environment and it powered by one AAA battery for a one day. And it is compatible with the CII Bionic Ear or HiRes 90K implants. It will be released next year.

 Click here to see the brochure. (searched by google)

 2. Cochlear reimplantation with same device: surgical and audiological results (Johan HM Frijns et al.)

Oct. 26, 2011

This research is about the successful reimplantation with same device cause of device failure. It is performed for 12 adults and 3 children CI recipients with HiRes 90k for 3 years. A little displacement of reimplanted electrode arrays (avg. 0.59 mm) were observed by computed tomography scans. And the recipients show immediate open set speech understanding after the reactivation. In some cases, speech perception is even improved.

 3. Audiovisual integration function in postlingually-deafened cochlear implant users measured by H215O-PET (Seung Ha Oh et al.)

Oct. 27, 2011

Cochlear implant users have been proposed to be equipped with better multisensory integration function than normal hearers. But, it might act as an obstacle understanding speech information in conflicting auditory-visual (AV) situation. In this study, the twelve CI users received instruction to respond if an even number was heard during monitoring video at the same time. The video showed pronouncing numbers from 1 to 9 by two speakers. There were three types of audiovisual stimuli; auditory only, AV congruent and incongruent. During the experiment, regional cerebral blood flow (CBF) was observed using H215O-PET.

In AV incongruent condition, CI users showed lower correct response rate and longer response time than normal hearers. In the AV congruent condition, the CI users indicated activation primarily in the visual cortices, while the controls showed activation of both the visual and auditory cortices. In the AV incongruent condition, the CI users showed a unique activation in the left inferior frontal gyrus. Activation of visual cortex was correlated positively with duration of deafness in congruent condition and negatively with auditory performance in both bimodal conditions. CI users showed increased CBF in the right amygdale in congruent condition and the activity was correlated positively to the auditory performance.

 4. Development of a novel therapeutic method for sensorineural hearing loss using an artificial auditory epithelium (Juichi Ito)

Oct. 28, 2011

In this presentation, a novel therapeutic method – prototype of artificial auditory epithelium (AAE) was introduced. AAE is totally implantable system for sensorineural hearing loss. The mechanism of restoration of hearing loss is performed by delivering electrical stimulation to the auditory ganglion cell. This is same for what CI does. But, the electrical stimulation is generated by implanted AAE attached on the basilar membrane in the inner ear. It is made of piezoelectric material that converts mechanical vibration to the electricity. As the vibration of basilar membrane, the AAE converts vibration to the electrical stimulation, and it stimulates the auditory ganglion cell. There’s no external part, no battery.

However, there are some challenges such as low stimulation power. So, research for finding other materials that able to generate more electrical power or increasing stimulation power delivering path is ongoing.

Doo Hee Kim is currently a research engineer of NUROBIOSYS that is a starting CI manufacturer in South Korea. His major was neural engineering at graduate school of Yonsei university. He’s interested in brain-machine interface, especially cochlear implant. He has studied evaluation of CI speech processing strategy.



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