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Research Projects

For more information about research in the CAOS Lab, Contact Us.

See recent article in Vanderbilt News, “High Fidelity: Cochlear implant users report dramatically better hearing with new Vanderbilt process,” – March 5, 2013.

Click here for Recruitment Criteria – Image-Guided Cochlear Implant Programming Research.

Image-guided cochlear implant programming 

NIH/NIDCDR21DC012620 07/2012-06/2014 Image-based frequency reallocation for optimizing cochlear implant programming. The major goal of this project is to assess the clinical utility of an image-guidance system for Cochlear Implant (CI) programming assistance that we are currently developing. For each CI recipient who participates in this research study, state-of-the-art image processing methods are employed to detect, using pre- and post-implantation CT, the position of the CI relative to the neural stimulation region and to analyze electrode stimulation patterns. Using the important information these spatial analysis techniques provide, we reprogram the CI recipient’s processor. Programming parameters include which electrodes are active, determining the relative power of each electrode, and determining an electrode frequency allocation table. Improved hearing performance for research participants will demonstrate that image-guidance can lead to more effective CI programming and better hearing restoration.We plan to release detailed information about the research study process and who may qualify for participation here. We anticipate that we will have approval from our regulatory review board to do this by late April, 2013. We appreciate your patience!

Image-Guided Otologic Surgery

Vanderbilt University Medical Center Discovery Grant     01/01/01-12/31/03 Image-Guided Otologic Surgery.  The major goals of this project were to demonstrate the feasibility of otologic surgery via construction of a novel fiducial system and demonstration of sub-millimeter accuracy. This internal grant provided pilot data for the subsequent R21 submission which was obtained as a first submission.
NIH/NIBIB (5R21EB002886)          09/20/03-08/31/05 Image-Guided Otologic Surgery.  The major goals of this study were the further development and validation of a novel fiducial system that is non-invasive (it does not directly screw to the patient’s skull but rather is secured in place by a mouth guard/mouthpiece similar to those worn for sporting events) and non-obstructive (it does not impede the surgeon’s movements).
Triological Society Career Development Award10     01/06-09/30/07 Clinical Validation and Testing of Percutaneous Cochlear Implantation.  The major goal of this study is to validate clinically a new technique for cochlear implantation. This technique utilized image-guided surgery to reduce a wide-field, time intensive procedure to a minimally-invasive procedure. The proposal consists of validating the accuracy of a currently FDA-cleared technique (for deep-brain stimulators for Parkinson’s patients) as applied to cochlear implantation.
A Ward Ford Grant from the American Society of Lasers in Medicine     10/1/06-09/30/07 Image-Guided Laser Identification of Hidden Anatomical Features in the Middle Cranial Fossa.  The goal of this project is to use image-guided surgery to program a laser to raster over vital anatomy providing an identifying outline of deep structures in the middle cranial fossa before they are surgically uncovered.
NIH/NIDCD-1R01DC008408-0104     01/07-03/31/11 Clinical Validation and Testing of Percutaneous Cochlear Implantation.  The major goal of this study is to validate clinically a new technique for cochlear implantation. This technique utilized image-guided surgery to reduce a wide-field, time intensive procedure to a minimally-invasive procedure. The proposal consists of two sequential studies. The first is to validate the accuracy of a currently FDA-cleared technique (for deep-brain stimulators for Parkinson’s patients) as applied to cochlear implantation. The second is to apply the technique. The study is PI-initiated and multi-center with University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Texas at Southwestern, and Case Western Reserve as participating sites.
NIH/NIBIB-R21EB006044-01A1080     01/07-07/31/09 Robotic Mastoidectomy.  The major goal of this study is to take a human operative task (mastoidectomy) and analyze it such that a robot can be programmed to accomplish the same task. Unique to the proposal is (1) the analysis of a complex human procedure by decomposing it to a string of finite, definable motions, (2) the use of image-guided feedback to control both the position and ON/OFF status of a high-speed surgical drill, and (3) demonstration of the major components of an operation using an autonomous robot (e.g. no human feedback).
NIH/NIDCD-1R01DC010184-01A1     09/19/08-9/18/13 Pediatric Percutaneous Cochlear Implantation Clinical Validation and Implantation.  The major goal of this study is to translate the adult technique for percutaneous cochlear implantation to the pediatric population. Building on the prior R01 (1R01DC008408-01)modifications to the technology are necessary to allow transition to the pediatric population focusing on the unique anatomical constraints, as well as regulations regarding clinical trials in the pediatric population. This grant was reviewed on June 1, 2009, receiving a 13th percentile score. The pay line from the NIDCD in 2008-2009 funded up to the 21st percentile.
Cochlear Americas     09/22/10-09/21/11 3D Cochlear ImagingCochlear Americas will provide University with up to ten electrically functional implant prototypes (which are rejects off the production line of the manufacturer) for University’s own research purposes – including studies of Electro-Convulsive Therapy applied in the presence of cochlear implants. Cochlear will provide 5-10 sets of CT scans to University and University will process such with its software, identifying electrode location, for the purpose of Cochlear America’s own analysis and further validation of the capabilities of University’s modeling software.

Eustachian Tube Function

Alcon Research, LTD     11/01/02-10/31/03 The Role of Ototopically Applied Anti-Histamines in the Treatment of Allergic Otitis Media.  The major goals of this project were to determine the effects of concomitant administration of either steroid or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory ototopical agents mixed with LPS on resolution of effusion and to ascertain whether ototopical steroids, NSAID or antihistamines cause auditory toxicity.
American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy        08/01/04-09/30/05 Dynamic Surfactant Protein Expression in Otitis Media.  The major goal of this project was to determine the expression of surfactant protein in the mucosa of rats in the middle ear, nasopharynx, and pulmonary tree both before and after exposure to bacterial endotoxin.

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The Otology Group at Vanderbilt

The Otology Group was founded in 1974 by Michael E. Glasscock III, M.D. C. Gary Jackson, M.D. joined the group in 1978. In the 30-year history of The Otology Group it became one of the world’s acknowledged centers of excellence for treatment of ear disorders. Dr. Glasscock retired in 1998 and Dr. Jackson in 2008. The tradition continues with the merger with Vanderbilt in 2004, with Dr. David Haynes as Division Chief.