April 1, 2008
Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary neuroscientists have built a prosthesis to replace the balance function of the inner ear’s vestibular system and are testing it in monkeys.
The prosthesis mimics the orientation-sensing semicircular canals. An external motion sensor measures body rotation and a microprocessor processes and transfers that data to an electrode implanted into the inner ear. This is similar to how a cochlear implant works for hearing.