Development of a Biomimetic semicircular canal with MEMS sensors to restore balance
A third of adults over the age of 50 suffer from chronic impairment of balance, posture, and/or gaze stability due to partial or complete impairment of the sensory cells in the inner ear responsible for these functions. The consequences of impaired balance organ can be dizziness, social withdrawal, and acceleration of the further functional decline. Despite the significant progress in biomedical sensing technologies, current artificial vestibular systems fail to function in practical situations and in very low frequencies. We aim to develop a novel biomechanical device that closely mimics the human vestibular system.
Biomimetic Soft-Polymer Ciliary Bundles to mimic inner ear haircells Many animal sensory systems involve mechanotransduction, the conversion of a mechanical stimulus to an electrical signal. Mechanosensitive cells and tissues employ a diverse set of exceptionally sensitive sensors to detect various signals including pressure, touch, sound, acceleration and fluid flow. Nature’s evolutionary path led to sensors of high functionality and robustness, in terms of material properties, anatomical architecture and energy expenditure. In the vertebrate inner ear, ultrafast and sub-Brownian threshold detection of sound, linear acceleration and angular velocity is accomplished by mechanosensitive cells that exhibit microsecond response times and nanometer-scale deflection sensitivities. These cells are called hair cells from the appearance of their sensing structures—micrometer-scale bundles of actin-based stereocilia, called hair bundles that protrude from their apical surfaces. Hair cells are also found in the fish lateral line system where they sense the velocity and direction of water flow. we aim to develop a new class of miniaturized, biocompatible, self-powered and flexible microelectromechanical system (MEMS) flow sensors that achieve high voltage sensitivity and low velocity detection thresholds by mimicking the anatomy and function of hair cells.
Mechanotransduction of the ciliary bundles in in the mammalian auditory organ