Impressive: Optical Cochlear Implant

Professor Tobias Moser, Ernst Jung awardee 2017, and his research team succeeded in combining gene therapy in the cochlear with light stimulation from a multichannel optical cochlear implant for the first time. This could result in a fundamental improvement in hearing with an optical cochlear implant in the future, as light can be better narrowed down spatially compared to electricity, thus enabling a more precise stimulation of the auditory nerve. 

The quality of artificial hearing with conventional cochlear implants (CI) is often severely limited. Especially in environments with background noise, it is difficult for those affected to filter out individual conversations. Perception of music is also much more difficult. A more precise stimulation of the auditory nerve through light pulses could remedy this, as it enables better pitch differentiation and could thus improve the hearing quality of those affected. However, it will take some time to do so. Prof. Dr. Moser expects an initial clinical study in humans in the mid-2020s.