Vestibular implant news


+ 100 million people worldwide suffer from severe vestibular disorders, with high risk of falls and injuries. This seriously handicaps their lives, disabling them of doing routine daily activities.

The vestibular labyrinths, saccule and utricle provide sensory input to neural circuits that facilitate accurate perception of spatial orientation and heading, support stable posture, and maintain steady vision. This contributes at 60% to the vestibular function and postural balance.

Saccule and utricle function is essential for postural balance in upright position and gait. Restoring the function of the
vestibular labyrinths was not possible until now, as they were surgically inaccessible due to their complex structure.

Bionic\VEST aspires to be the third bionic prosthesis in human history after cochlear implant and retinal prosthesis. Objective is the development of a device to measure the cephalic movements in the three spatial planes and code this information to the vestibular nerve to substitute hair cell sensors in the maculae of the saccule and utricle, or to stimulate the vestibular nerve with a constant pulse train to mitigate dysbalance due to malfunction of the otolithic organ.

Read more about the consortium, in which the St Augustinus ENT team - prof. Wuyts included - is involved.: