A Perfusion System for Maintaining Cochlear Tissue Slices during Measurement of Potential Distributions in Response to Electrical Stimulation across a Broad Range of Frequencies Public Deposited

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  • March 19, 2019
  • Dillon, Christopher A.
    • Affiliation: School of Medicine, UNC/NCSU Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering
  • Cochlear implants are able to provide functional hearing to many deaf individuals through electrical stimulation of surviving nerves in the cochlea. While the general success of cochlear implants is well documented, there still remain many basic questions concerning an implant's interaction with the cochlear tissue. This research aims to explore the question of how electrical energy delivered by the implant as current pulses distributes through the tissue of the cochlea to generate extracellular potentials in the vicinity of surviving neurons. In particular, this work seeks to gain insight into how capacitive tissue properties effect the distribution of energy delivered by short-duration current pulses. This thesis describes a custom-build tissue chamber designed to maintain live cochlear tissue slices, as well as the hardware and software for implementing data collection and analysis protocols for characterizing potential distributions in the tissue slice during stimulation. Electrical stimulation is delivered via spatially-fixed ball electrodes, while a moveable metal microelectrode recorded data over a wide frequency range (30 Hz. to 100 kHz.) at 100 separate points evenly distributed across and within the tissue slice. To date the system has been tested with tissue substitutes such as bologna and potato slices to verify the function of the system. Continued work with cochlear slices will one day provide results that may improve the effectiveness of cochlear implants.
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  • In Copyright
  • Finley, Charles C.
  • Open access

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