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See detailA pilot study of the safety and performance of the Otologics fully implantable hearing device: transducing sounds via the round window membrane to the inner ear.
Lefèbvre, Philippe ULg; Martin, Christine ULg; Dubreuil, C. et al

in Audiology & Neuro-otology (2009), 14(3), 172-80

OBJECTIVES: The safety and performance of the Otologics fully implantable hearing device were assessed in adult patients with mixed conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. METHODS: The subcutaneous ... [more ▼]

OBJECTIVES: The safety and performance of the Otologics fully implantable hearing device were assessed in adult patients with mixed conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. METHODS: The subcutaneous microphone of this fully implantable device picks up ambient sounds, converts them into an electrical signal, amplifies the signal according to the user's needs, and sends it to an electromechanical transducer. The transducer tip is customized with a prosthesis in order to be in contact with the round window membrane and is protected by fascia; this translates the electrical signal into a mechanical motion that directly stimulates the round window membrane and enables the user to perceive sound. The implanted battery is recharged daily via an external charger and the user can turn the implant on and off as well as adjust the volume with a hand-held remote control. In this pilot study, 6 patients with mixed conductive and sensorineural hearing loss were implanted with the Otologics fully implantable hearing device. Pre- and postoperative air conduction, bone conduction, as well as aided and unaided thresholds and speech scores were measured. RESULTS: No significant differences between preoperative and postoperative pure-tone averages were noted. Average improvement ranged from 19.16 to 35.8 dB of functional gain across audiometric frequencies with a mean of 26.17 +/- 5.15 dB. Long-term average functional gain at 12 months was 20.83 +/- 6.22 dB. Word recognition scores demonstrated significant differences between unaided and implant-aided conditions. CONCLUSIONS: Preliminary results of this trial of the Otologics fully implantable hearing device provide evidence that this fully implantable device is capable of efficiently transferring the sound to the inner ear via the round window membrane in patients with mixed hearing loss. [less ▲]

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See detailMechanisms of cell death in the injured auditory system: Otoprotective strategies
Lefèbvre, Philippe ULg; Malgrange, Brigitte ULg; Lallemend, François et al

in Audiology & Neuro-otology (2002), 7(3, May-Jun), 165-170

Oxidative stress insults such as neurotrophin withdrawal, sound trauma, hypoxia/ischemia, ototoxic antibiotics, and chemotherapeutic agents have been shown to induce apoptosis of both auditory hair cells ... [more ▼]

Oxidative stress insults such as neurotrophin withdrawal, sound trauma, hypoxia/ischemia, ototoxic antibiotics, and chemotherapeutic agents have been shown to induce apoptosis of both auditory hair cells and neurons. In this paper, we review some components of the apoptotic pathways leading to the death of hair cells and auditory induced by growth factor withdrawal or cisplatin intoxication: (1) reactive oxygen species and free radicals are formed as by-products of several metabolic pathways and these molecules can themselves cause cell damage by reacting with cellular proteins; (2) activation of caspases, and (3) activation of calpain. These mechanisms have several different points at which inhibitors could be targeted to protect cells from programmed cell death, including the prevention of oxidative stress-induced apoptosis and the activation of caspases and calpains. Copyright (C) 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel. [less ▲]

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