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XR2.2 Electroneural Interface


This Key Project is focused on the interface between implanted technology and the auditory nervous system, this project is investigating the feasibility of using new materials and automated manufacturing processes to:

  • (i) produce electrodes with increased capacity and reliability;
  • (ii) reduce power usage; and
  • (iii) increase precision of electrical current distribution in the cochlea.

This cross disciplinary project is employing specialist skills and infrastructure at The University of Melbourne and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science at the University of Wollongong. It is investigating how we can make electrodes that have a better combination of biocompatibility, impedance, stability, electrode decomposition and manufacturability than is currently possible.

In addition, we are exploring the questions of how to reduce leakage currents, target a smaller number of neurons with each electrode and reduce electrode failures. One promising avenue is to investigate whether some of these aims can be achieved through selectively encouraging fibrous tissue growth around electrodes. This project relies heavily on the direct involvement of Cochlear Ltd’s electrode design and development team.

XR2.2.1 Innovative Electrode and Array Manufacture

This project is focused on designing a cochlear implant electrode that uses a better combination of biocompatibility, impedance, stability, electrode decomposition, number of electrodes, and manufacturability.

Project Leader: Dr Alex Harris

XR2.2.2 Interface Optimisation and Assessment

This project is determining if electrical currents from cochlear implants can be better directed through selectively encouraging fibrous growth around electrodes.

Project Leaders: Dr Carrie Newbold, Dr Karina Needham


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