The human inner ear contains minute three-dimensional neurosensory structures that are deeply embedded within the skull base, rendering them relatively inaccessible to regenerative therapies for hearing loss. Rinri has worked with an international consortium of clinicians, surgeons and anatomists to establish a viable and safe delivery route for therapeutic intervention into the cochlea. In 2022 we reported our initial work providing a detailed characterisation of the functional architecture of the space that hosts the cell bodies of the auditory nerve 2. We used synchrotron phase-contrast imaging which offers the required microscopic soft-tissue contrast definition while simultaneously displaying precise bony anatomic detail. Using volume-rendering software we constructed highly accurate 3-dimensional representations of the inner ear. Modelling data from temporal bones enabled the definition of a safe trajectory for therapeutic access while preserving the cochlea’s internal architecture. We validated the approach through surgical simulation, anatomical dissection, and micro-radiographic analysis.
2 Li, H., Agrawal, S., Rohani, S.A. et al. Unlocking the human inner ear for therapeutic intervention. Sci Rep 12 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-022-22203-2