Here is good news for people who suffer from hearing impairment. Scientists at Indiana University School of Medicine are working on a project wherein they will be developing inner ear parts using the stem cells. It will notably be a major breakthrough if they are successful in their research.
The team of researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine, led by professor Karl Koehler are working on a method using which they will be growing the inner organs of a human ear from stem cells, Digital Trends reported. According to Koehler, human stem cells have the capability of giving shape to any organ, however, they need to be given special guidance and also at the right time for the formation of that any specific organ. Similar is the case with inner ear parts.
He further added that around out three years ago, they came up with 'cue recipe' using the trial and error method. This recipe gives out the guidance to the stem cells for the formation of inner ear parts. And now, using the same, which they have termed as 'inner ear organoids' they are conducting a study to show how this organoids are arranged and how it can function like inner ear parts.
Moreover, he also stated that the inner ears are amongst those few organs for which a biopsy is not done, which makes it an extremely rare tissue for purposes related to research and for testing new gene therapy or new drugs, Nature Biotechnology learned. He is hopeful that the study will accelerate the development of drugs that can regenerate inner cell elements like hair cells and sensing cells.
It must be mentioned here that currently the research is far from where tech can be used to restore hearing, but notably, the tissues developed by the researchers do appear like the original inner ear parts, especially with the hair cells and neurons, which signals the brain by sending sounds.