Simulation of an optical Cochlea Implant. Image: Lakshay Khurana and Daniel Keppeler, UMG.

Restoring Hearing With Beams of Light

There’s a popular misconception that cochlear implants restore natural hearing. In fact, these marvels of engineering give people a new kind of “electric hearing” that they must learn how to use.
The scientists led by Tobias Moser, MBExC spokesperson, recognize that today’s cochlear implants run up against hard limits of engineering and human physiology. So they are developing a new kind of cochlear implant that uses light emitters and genetically altered cells that respond to light.

Link to the IEEE Spectrum Article