Surface biotechnology for refining cochlear implants
•Surface biotechnology has successfully enhanced cochlear implant performance.•Surface modification, coatings, and drug delivery are promising strategies.•Novel surface biotechnologies minimize surgical complications.•Cochlear implant technology is highly transferrable to other neural implants.
The advent of the cochlear implant is phenomenal because it is the first surgical prosthesis that is capable of restoring one of the senses. The subsequent rapid evolution of cochlear implants through increasing complexity and functionality has been synchronized with the recent advancements in biotechnology. Surface biotechnology has refined cochlear implants by directly influencing the implant–tissue interface. Emerging surface biotechnology strategies are exemplified by nanofibrous polymeric materials, topographical surface modification, conducting polymer coatings, and neurotrophin-eluting implants. Although these novel developments have received individual attention in the recent literature, the time has come to investigate their collective applications to cochlear implants to restore lost hearing.
Journal: - Volume 31, Issue 12, December 2013, Pages 678–687