Journal article

Hydrogel limits stem cell dispersal in the deaf cochlea: implications for cochlear implants

Bryony A Nayagam, Steven S Backhouse, Cengiz Cimenkaya, Robert K Shepherd



Auditory neurons provide the critical link between a cochlear implant and the brain in deaf individuals, therefore their preservation and/or regeneration is important for optimal performance of this neural prosthesis. In cases where auditory neurons are significantly depleted, stem cells (SCs) may be used to replace the lost population of neurons, thereby re-establishing the critical link between the periphery (implant) and the brain. For such a therapy to be therapeutically viable, SCs must be differentiated into neurons, retained at their delivery site and damage caused to the residual auditory neurons minimized. Here we describe the transplantation of SC-derived neurons into the deaf coch..

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Funding Acknowledgements

The authors extend their thanks to the following organizations for their financial support of this work: the Department of Otolaryngology, the University of Melbourne, the Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Memorial Foundation, the Bionics Institute, the Thomas Wickham Jones Foundation (UK), and the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital. The Bionics Institute acknowledges the support it receives from the Victorian Government through its Operational Infrastructure Support Program. B A Nayagam is supported by an NH&MRC Australian-Based Biomedical Research Fellowship.