Photo: User of an classical cochlea implant (CI) in front of an optical CI with optical fibre in blue. Courtesy: F. El May, M. Zerche, UMG/MBExC.

The first light-controlled drug that could improve the hearing of people with cochlear implants

Researchers at the University Medical Center Göttingen and the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia in Spain have succeeded for the first time worldwide, in stimulating hearing in vivo by light without the need for genetic manipulation. This new light-controlled drug, capable of triggering the neural pathways involved in hearing, can contribute to improving the spectral resolution of cochlear implants used by people with profound hearing loss or deafness. Published in the renowned journal Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS).

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