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Department of Otorhinolaryngology


  • Examination of blood supply and innervation of the hearing and balance organ

    Examination of blood supply and innervation of the hearing and balance organ

    • Project Number: SF06
    • Project Lead: Bela Büki, Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences / Division of Otorhinolaryngology (University Hospital Krems)
    • Duration: 24 months starting from 02.06.2019
  • Future of Hearing

    Future of Hearing

    • Project Number: LSC14_027
    • Project Lead: Georg Mathias Sprinzl, Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences / Division of Otorhinolaryngology (University Hospital St. Pölten)
    • Project Partner: Hannover Medical School / Biomaterial Engineering, CEST
    • Duration: 37 months starting from 01.02.2016


    Severe deafness (1.7% of the total population) leads to social isolation, disability and early dementia. Hearing aids and cochlear implants (CI) bring help here, but eliminate the socio-economic effects only partially. The reason lies in the failure of the so-called "Cocktail Party Ability", where with a healthy hearing one can focus on a single conversation in a noisy room.
    This data processing is not found in the cortex, but the latter actively controls a filtering in the auditory organ (cochlea) via a down-going multilevel, efferent control. Despite all signal processing in hearing aids and CI, this unconscious regulation is difficult to imitate and their regulation by patients remains almost unused because of inconvenience. What is missing is the technical closing of the extended loop consisting of cochlea, cortex and hearing aid / CI.
    With Brain Computer Interfaces (BCI), the connection of the cortex or underlying stations of auditory efference to hearing aids could be possible in the future, albeit to a large extent cooperation of audiologists, neurosurgeons, electrophysiologists, electrode developers, modeling neuro- and cognitive scientists is needed. The University Hospital St. Pölten (UKStP) of the Karl Landsteiner Private University for Health Sciences recommends itself as the initiator of a roadmap, which incorporates the state of knowledge into teaching, evaluates the application focus and communicates a consensus on challenges and milestones.
    In addition to this long-term approach, in the first, smaller experiments it will be tested if efferent control can work. These experiments as part of ongoing animal experiments and CI patients allow easier access to the efferent auditory system to test (compound action potential CAP, tonotopic action potentials in sensing CI mode and EEG leads). A success would be a tentative conclusion of efferent regulation allowing patients to learn to use the efference - possibly as intuitive as BCI-controlled limbs *. (* Collinger JL et al, J. Clin. Trans. Science (2014) 7, 1, 1752-8062)


    Totally implantable fiber-optic sound sensing system for cochlear- and middle-ear hearing aids

    • Project Number: LSC14_026
    • Project Lead: Nikolaus Dellantoni, ACMIT - Austrian Center for Medical Innovation and Technology
    • Project Partner: Karl Landsteiner University of Health Sciences / Division of Otorhinolaryngology (University Hospital St. Pölten), Resident Specialist
    • Duration: 42 months starting from 01.11.2015


    Implantable hearing aids are in clinical use since more than 25 years. These include cochlear implants (CI), auditory brainstem implants (ABIs), bone-anchored hearing aids (BAHA) and implantable middle-ear implants (MEI). The main challenge for all these implantable devices is a lack of reliability of the implantable microphone due to a constant decrease of the initial sensitivity after exploitation. In this project we propose a contactless fiber-optic sensing technique based on low-coherence interferometry for amplitude measurement of the hearing ossicles, e.g. incus or malleus. Our approach is physiologically fully justified because sound transmission to the inner ear can be realized without any obstacles, taking advantage of the natural amplification properties of the outer ear and the ear drum. There is no feedback noise and signal distortion due to decoupling the microphone from the actuator. The contactless method does not change the original properties of the acoustic signal at all and the ossicle chain stays intact. The distance of about 5 mm between the sensing fiber and ossicle is large enough to prevent scarring. This also allows to use the device in case of small quasi-static long-term movements of ossicle in the middle-ear, that usually occur during the children growth, or rather large quasi-static short-term movements in case of alternation of atmospheric pressure or chewing. The current prototype of the device can reach sensitivity of about 40db SPL and about 70db SPL in audio frequency range which now should be further improved to around 30 dB SPL by increasing the signal-to-noise-ratio (SNR) of the system, accomplished by noise suppression of some individual parts of the system, like light source, fiber-optic link, photo receiver, or overall sensing configuration. Additionally, a more effective algorithm will be developed and embedded in a low-consumption DSP. The results will be verified by pre-clinical ex-vivo examination


  1. 14 Mar

    Open House at KL University - March 2020

    14. March 2020, 10:00 - 14:00
    Karl Landsteiner University, Dr.-Karl-Dorrek-Straße 30,3500 Krems, Trakt Y, Erdgeschoß
  2. 27 Mar

    International Skills Lab Symposium 2020

    27. March 2020, 09:00 - 28. March 2020, 18:00
    Karl Landsteiner Privatuniversität für Gesundheitswissenschaften, Skills Lab, Trakt Y
  3. 16 Nov

    Open House at KL University - November 2019

    16. November 2019, 10:00 - 14:00
    Karl Landsteiner Privatuniversität, Dr.-Karl-Dorrek-Straße 30,3500 Krems, Trakt Y, Erdgeschoß