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Neurophotonics. 2018 Oct;5(4):045002. doi: 10.1117/1.NPh.5.4.045002. Epub 2018 Oct 23.

Multichannel optrodes for photonic stimulation.

Author information

1
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Department of Otolaryngology, Chicago, Illinois, United States.
2
Northwestern University, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Evanston, Illinois, United States.
3
Qingdao University, Institute for Digital Medicine and Computer-assisted Surgery, Qingdao, China.
4
Chongqing University, Bioengineering College, Chongqing, China.
5
Diamond Light Source Ltd., Diamond House, Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Didcot, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom.
6
Structure of Materials Group-ID19, European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Cedex 9, France.
7
Northwestern University, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Evanston, Illinois, United States.
8
Northwestern University, Hugh Knowles Center for Clinical and Basic Sciences in Hearing, Evanston, Illinois, United States.

Abstract

An emerging method in the field of neural stimulation is the use of photons to activate neurons. The possible advantage of optical stimulation over electrical is attributable to its spatially selective activation of small neuron populations, which is promising in generating superior spatial resolution in neural interfaces. Two principal methods are explored for cochlear prostheses: direct stimulation of nerves with infrared light and optogenetics. This paper discusses basic requirements for developing a light delivery system (LDS) for the cochlea and provides examples for building such devices. The proposed device relies on small optical sources, which are assembled in an array to be inserted into the cochlea. The mechanical properties, the biocompatibility, and the efficacy of optrodes have been tested in animal models. The force required to insert optrodes into a model of the human scala tympani was comparable to insertion forces obtained for contemporary cochlear implant electrodes. Side-emitting diodes are powerful enough to evoke auditory responses in guinea pigs. Chronic implantation of the LDS did not elevate auditory brainstem responses over 26 weeks.

KEYWORDS:

cochlear implant; infrared neural stimulation; laser; light delivery system; optrode

PMID:
30397630
PMCID:
PMC6197865
[Available on 2019-10-23]
DOI:
10.1117/1.NPh.5.4.045002

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