Tinnitus and Electrical Stimulation
EstimME is developing a miniaturized implantable system for the treatment of tinnitus via electrical stimulation of the auditory (cochlear) nerve. The system is implanted in a minimally invasive, atraumatic approach to the middle ear and the implantation is completely reversible.
Electrical stimulation using cochlear implants has been shown to be effective in tinnitus suppression in severe tinnitus patients with up to 90% success rate, when tested on profoundly deaf. This procedure cannot be used in hearing patients due to the irreversible damage caused to the cochlea during implantation.
EstimME’s system provides for the first time, a solution for the hearing/hearing impaired that addresses the underlying mechanism of tinnitus, and not just the symptoms of this debilitating condition.
A tiny neurostimulator the size of a grain of rice delivers electrical signals to the cochlear nerve. The neurostimulator is remotely powered and controlled by an external unit.
A self-expandable stent-like chassis made of nitinol enables easy deployment and atraumatic fixation of the neurostimulator in the middle ear through the ear-canal.
An external unit enables control of the neurostimulator, and is activated on a predefined daily schedule and according to the patient’s demand.
A clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of the EstimME system is currently under way in Shaare Zedek Medical Center, Jerusalem. Interim results show electrical stimulation of the cochlear nerve to be safe and effective in achieving tinnitus suppression.
The EStimME system is an investigational device, limited to investigational use only.