U of U researchers receive grant to improve technology for the deaf

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A team of worldwide researchers including engineers from the University of Utah have received a $9.7 million grant to design and develop a new implantable device for the deaf.

The goal will be to produce a device that produces more detailed sound than traditional hearing-loss treatments.

This new procedure involves the use of a new version of the Utah Electrode Array architecture, a brain-computer interface originally developed by the University of Utah biomedical engineering Professor Emeritus Richard Normann. 

The version used is a special variant of the Utah Slanted Electrode Array designed for use in peripheral nerves. Versions of the Utah Electrode Array are being further developed to allow amputees to move prosthetic limbs with their mind and, in this case, to hear higher-resolution sounds than with regular cochlear implants.

“You have much higher resolution of sound, which means you can cover more individual frequencies and have better tonal range,” says Florian Solzbacher, who is the lead U researcher working on the team. “That should allow you to get more realistic hearing.”

To learn more about the proposed device and surgical procedure click here.

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