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Nurotron Biotechnology

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Zeng F.-G.,University of California at Irvine | Rebscher S.J.,University of California at San Francisco | Fu Q.-J.,University of California at Los Angeles | Chen H.,Nurotron Biotechnology | And 10 more authors.
Hearing Research | Year: 2014

Although the cochlear implant has been widely acknowledged as the most successful neural prosthesis, only a fraction of hearing-impaired people who can potentially benefit from a cochlear implant have actually received one due to its limited awareness, accessibility, and affordability. To help overcome these limitations, a 26-electrode cochlear implant has been developed to receive China's Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) approval in 2011 and Conformité Européenne (CE) Marking in 2012. The present article describes design philosophy, system specification, and technical verification of the Nurotron device, which includes advanced digital signal processing and 4 current sources with multiple amplitude resolutions that not only are compatible with perceptual capability but also allow interleaved or simultaneous stimulation. The article also presents 3-year longitudinal evaluation data from 60 human subjects who have received the Nurotron device. The objective measures show that electrode impedance decreased within the first month of device use, but was stable until a slight increase at the end of two years. The subjective loudness measures show that electric stimulation threshold was stable while the maximal comfort level increased over the 3 years. Mandarin sentence recognition increased from the pre-surgical 0%-correct score to a plateau of about 80% correct with 6-month use of the device. Both indirect and direct comparisons indicate indistinguishable performance differences between the Nurotron system and other commercially available devices. The present 26-electrode cochlear implant has already helped to lower the price of cochlear implantation in China and will likely contribute to increased cochlear implant access and success in the rest of the world.This article is part of a Special Issue entitled . © 2014 The Authors.


PubMed | Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of California at Irvine, Nurotron Biotechnology, University of California at Los Angeles and 6 more.
Type: | Journal: Hearing research | Year: 2015

Although the cochlear implant has been widely acknowledged as the most successful neural prosthesis, only a fraction of hearing-impaired people who can potentially benefit from a cochlear implant have actually received one due to its limited awareness, accessibility, and affordability. To help overcome these limitations, a 26-electrode cochlear implant has been developed to receive Chinas Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) approval in 2011 and Conformit Europenne (CE) Marking in 2012. The present article describes design philosophy, system specification, and technical verification of the Nurotron device, which includes advanced digital signal processing and 4 current sources with multiple amplitude resolutions that not only are compatible with perceptual capability but also allow interleaved or simultaneous stimulation. The article also presents 3-year longitudinal evaluation data from 60 human subjects who have received the Nurotron device. The objective measures show that electrode impedance decreased within the first month of device use, but was stable until a slight increase at the end of two years. The subjective loudness measures show that electric stimulation threshold was stable while the maximal comfort level increased over the 3 years. Mandarin sentence recognition increased from the pre-surgical 0%-correct score to a plateau of about 80% correct with 6-month use of the device. Both indirect and direct comparisons indicate indistinguishable performance differences between the Nurotron system and other commercially available devices. The present 26-electrode cochlear implant has already helped to lower the price of cochlear implantation in China and will likely contribute to increased cochlear implant access and success in the rest of the world. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled .


Jia X.,University of Tennessee at Knoxville | Li X.,University of Tennessee at Knoxville | Li X.,Nurotron Biotechnology | Lenaghan S.C.,University of Tennessee at Knoxville | And 2 more authors.
IEEE Transactions on Robotics | Year: 2014

Due to the constraints imposed at low Reynolds number, the design of efficient propulsive systems for nanorobots has proven challenging. In this paper, an approach for the design of an efficient nanorobotic propulsive system was proposed. First, resistive force theory was used to develop a dynamic model for the propulsion of nanorobots, accounting for the fluid dynamics generated by the propeller (flagellum). Second, an optimal control problem was formulated and solved to balance the tradeoff between energy utilization and tracking efficiency. Finally, simulations were conducted to analyze the effect of different body to flagellum ratios (BFR) on propulsive efficiency. It was found that the optimal flexural rigidity of the nanorobot propeller was 5.8 × 10-19 N·m2, within the range of sperm flagellum, 0.7 × 10-19 -74.0 × 10-19 N·m 2. Simulations of multiple BFRs demonstrated that multipoint actuation of the nanopropeller was more efficient at BFRs of less than 1.0, while single actuation was only effective for nanorobots with a BFR >0.2. The results from this study could provide useful insights for the design of efficient nanorobotic propulsive systems, in terms of energy efficiency and trajectory tracking accuracy. © 2014 IEEE.


Wang N.,University of Minnesota | Wang N.,Nurotron Biotechnology | Kreft H.,University of Minnesota | Oxenham A.J.,University of Minnesota
JARO - Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology | Year: 2016

The loudness of a tone can be reduced by preceding it with a more intense tone. This effect, known as induced loudness reduction (ILR), has been reported to last for several seconds. The underlying neural mechanisms are unknown. One possible contributor to the effect involves changes in cochlear gain via the medial olivocochlear (MOC) efferents. Since cochlear implants (CIs) bypass the cochlea, investigating whether and how CI users experience ILR should help provide a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms. In the present study, ILR was examined in both normal-hearing listeners and CI users by examining the effects of an intense precursor (50 or 500 ms) on the loudness of a 50-ms target, as judged by comparing it to a spectrally remote 50-ms comparison sound. The interstimulus interval (ISI) between the precursor and the target was varied between 10 and 1000 ms to estimate the time course of ILR. In general, the patterns of results from the CI users were similar to those found in the normal-hearing listeners. However, in the short-precursor short-ISI condition, an enhancement in the loudness of target was observed in CI subjects that was not present in the normal-hearing listeners, consistent with the effects of an additional attenuation present in the normal-hearing listeners but not in the CI users. The results suggest that the MOC may play a role but that it is not the only source of these loudness context effects. © 2016, Association for Research in Otolaryngology.


Gao N.,Fudan University | Gao N.,Shanghai Auditory Medical Center | Gao N.,Hearing Health Science | Xu X.-D.,Fudan University | And 22 more authors.
Acta Oto-Laryngologica | Year: 2016

Conclusion: This study described objective and subjective evaluations of the Nurotron® Venus™ Cochlear Implant System and indicated that this system produced a satisfactory performance. Objective: To observe the performance of the Nurotron® Venus™ cochlear implant (CI) system via electrophysiological and psychophysical evaluations. Methods: A 26-electrode CI system was specially designed. The performance of MRI in animal and cadaveric head experiments, EABR in cats experiment, the correlation between ESRT and C level, and psychophysics evaluations in clinical trials were observed. Results: In the animal and cadaveric head experiments, magnet dislocation could not be prevented in the 1.5 T MRI without removal of the internal magnet. The EABR was clearly elicited in cat experiment. In the clinical trial, the ESRT was strongly correlated with C level (p < 0.001). The human clinical trial involving 57 post-lingually deafened native Mandarin-speaking patients was performed. Residual hearing protection in the implanted ear at each audiometric frequency was observed in 27.5-46.3% patients post-operatively. A pitch ranking test revealed that place pitches were generally ordered from apical to basal electrodes. The recognitions of the perceptions of 301 disyllabic words, environment sounds, disyllabic words, and numerals were significantly better than the pre-operative performance and reached plateaus. © 2015 Taylor & Francis.


PubMed | Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of California at Irvine, Nurotron Biotechnology, Chongqing Medical University and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Acta oto-laryngologica | Year: 2015

This study described objective and subjective evaluations of the Nurotron Venus Cochlear Implant System and indicated that this system produced a satisfactory performance.To observe the performance of the Nurotron Venus cochlear implant (CI) system via electrophysiological and psychophysical evaluations.A 26-electrode CI system was specially designed. The performance of MRI in animal and cadaveric head experiments, EABR in cats experiment, the correlation between ESRT and C level, and psychophysics evaluations in clinical trials were observed.In the animal and cadaveric head experiments, magnet dislocation could not be prevented in the 1.5 T MRI without removal of the internal magnet. The EABR was clearly elicited in cat experiment. In the clinical trial, the ESRT was strongly correlated with C level (p<0.001). The human clinical trial involving 57 post-lingually deafened native Mandarin-speaking patients was performed. Residual hearing protection in the implanted ear at each audiometric frequency was observed in 27.5-46.3% patients post-operatively. A pitch ranking test revealed that place pitches were generally ordered from apical to basal electrodes. The recognitions of the perceptions of 301 disyllabic words, environment sounds, disyllabic words, and numerals were significantly better than the pre-operative performance and reached plateaus.


Lu T.,University of California at Irvine | Djalilian H.,University of California at Irvine | Zeng F.-G.,University of California at Irvine | Chen H.,Nurotron Biotechnology | Sun X.,Nurotron Biotechnology
Proceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS | Year: 2011

An integrated vestibular-cochlear implant can be rapidly prototyped and clinically tested by modifying an existing modern cochlear implant. The modifications include addition of gyroscope sensors and reallocation of several electrodes that are normally used for auditory nerve stimulation to the semicircular canals, while sharing the external DSP processor and the internal receiver/stimulator. This paper discusses the validation issues related to hardware and software design that arise in integrating electric hearing and balance onto a single device. The device's initially targeted population will be deaf individuals who also have vestibular impairment since there is a strong ethical justification for vestibular implantation along with minimal additional surgical risk. Because of widespread usage of ototoxic drugs and unique genetic mutations, the patient population with both impaired hearing and balance function is especially prevalent in Asian countries such as China and India. Should such an integrated vestibular-cochlear implant be verified, it could be used to restore balance or treat a wide array of vestibular disorders. © 2011 IEEE.

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