Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Laser-based Cochlear Implant

A new generation of infrared laser-based cochlear implants will offer users better hearing than typical implants can do, according to Mark Bendett of Lockheed Martin Aculight. His company's laser-based technology stimulates inner ear cells with heat rather than electricity, which the current models do. Both models use the same batteries, microphones and signal processors. But currently used implants produce only up to eight frequencies. The laser implant can stimulate the cochlear nerves create dozens of separate sounds in different frequencies. Several research teams at US universities are working on similar technology.