Cochlear Implant Goes Deeper

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US scientists have upgraded the conventional cochlear implant, a hearing aid. The upgraded device has more electrodes and a thinner, more flexible wire that can be inserted further into the cochlea, the inner ear where the auditory nerves are bundled. A team of scientists from the Medical College of Georgia and the Georgia Institute of Technology said more the electrodes on the nerves, the better the sound.

The device would thus offer an improved sound resolution. Since the snail-shaped cochlea is difficult to access, the thinner wire can easily pass through the tube, lowering the risk of damaging the ear during implantation.


Down to Earth, July 2010