Technical report: modification of a cochlear implant electrode for drug delivery to the inner ear.
ABSTRACT To investigate the possibility of modifying a cochlear implant electrode for the purpose of drug delivery to the cochlea.
Animal experiments suggest that local therapy of the inner ear could be a promising new approach to the interventional treatment of inner ear disease, and that pharmacologic intervention could possibly enhance cochlear implant performance. One of the key aspects is the deployment of a means of drug delivery to the human inner ear.
The tip of the Contour electrode array was cut to open the lumen of the array, and a connecting piece was developed to connect the electrode to a pump. The feasibility of using the array for drug delivery was tested using both an Alzet mini-osmotic pump and a mechanical pump. The connection was tested for its stability in terms of leakage and resistance to tractive forces. The system was also applied to temporal bones to evaluate its applicability to the human cochlea.
The modified Contour electrode is easy to handle in temporal bones and can be used to simulate drug delivery to the inner ear. The connection to the pump was sealed for all tested pump rates and resisted tractive forces up to 50 N.
The described modified electrode could provide a safe and easy-to-handle means of combining electrical stimulation with the beneficial effects of a local drug therapy applied to the inner ear.
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ABSTRACT: A wide range of therapeutic strategies are available for the therapy of hearing disorders including pharmaceutical, acoustic, electrical, surgical, radiological, cognitive-behavioural and so-called "alternative" strategies. This review focuses on general conservative strategies and specific therapeutic approaches mainly for inner ear disorders, whereas surgical and device-based therapies including hearing aids and cochlear implants are described in other chapters in this volume.In addition to the systemic medication-based therapies for the treatment of hearing disorders, the rapidly growing field of local drug delivery to the inner ear as a promising therapeutic strategy is discussed on the background of unresolved issues. After description of non-drug-based therapeutic procedures, the conservative therapy of specific diseases and syndromes is reviewed.In general, there is a major discrepancy between promising animal studies up to regeneration and stem-cell transplantation, and uncontrolled experimental studies in humans on the one hand and the shortage of randomized controlled clinical trials with a high level of evidence on the other hand. Therefore, the review and comments on published clinical studies should assist the reader in making his/her own decision about the effectiveness of various, especially pharmaceutical treatments. From a critical analysis - particularly of the clinical studies presented - conclusions are drawn for the therapy of hearing disorders in the future.GMS current topics in otorhinolaryngology, head and neck surgery. 01/2005; 4:Doc01.