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Opt Express. 2009 Dec 7;17(25):23037-43. doi: 10.1364/OE.17.023037.

Optoacoustic induced vibrations within the inner ear.

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Laser Center Hannover, Hollerithallee 8, 30419 Hannover, Germany.


An acoustic transient can be generated inside an absorbing tissue as a result of laser-tissue interaction after pulsed laser irradiation. Herein we report a novel application of this physical process, the optoacoustic wave generation in the inner ear and subsequently the induction of basilar membrane vibrations. These laser induced vibrations show a direct correlation to the laser energy and an indirect correlation to the distance from the irradiation focus. Through these characteristics they may be used, in a new generation of cochlear implants, to improve the frequency specific cochlear activation and consequently improve speech perception in hearing impaired patients with residual hearing.

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