Intracochlear pressure measurements for bone conduction hearing

KU Leuven
August 22 2017
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

A postdoctoral position is available at ExpORL, Dept. Neurosciences, KU Leuven, Belgium. The goal is to intensify the development and use of intracochlear pressure measures based on Fabry-Pérot fiber-optic sensors. Challenges consist of the development of an adequate framework with robust software and user-friendly interface using commercially available off-the-shelf fiber optic sensors. The sensors will be inserted by otosurgeons in the cochlear fluids of human cadaver heads. The position can be extended and elaborated with new mechanical engineering topics if successful. The ideal starting date is between now and 1 November 2017. The research group of Experimental Otorhinolaryngology, Dept. Neurosciences is part of the University of Leuven. Leuven is located in the center of Belgium, in the heart of Europe. Our group consists of 4 professors, 5 post-docs and ~30 PhD students.

The main research topics at ExpORL, Dept. Neurosciences are:

* Inner ear mechanics with new acoustic hearing implants

* New auditory measurement methods based on auditory brain evoked potentials for improved diagnostics and hearing instruments

* Speech and music processing for cochlear implants

* Noise reduction for improved speech reception with hearing instruments in adverse and noisy listening environments

* Binaural hearing: signal processing schemes and evaluation procedures for bilateral acoustical and/or electrical hearing instruments

* New electrical stimulation for optimal neural excitation in cochlear implants

* Temporal neural processing in the auditory system

In these studies, often in collaboration with the University Hospitals of Leuven, we focus on the chain of auditory modelling, signal processing, simulation, psychophysical tests, electro-physiological measurements, imaging, lab-implementation, and evaluation with normal hearing subjects and users of hearing aids, middle ear implants and cochlear implants. Intensive research has led to fundamental knowledge about inner ear mechanics and hearing instruments. Based on these studies, new signal processing strategies have been developed that are now used worldwide in the most recent cochlear implant systems and hearing aids. Furthermore, diagnostic and evaluation strategies have been developed that are clinically applied.

- You will conduct your own research project, collaborating with PhD and postdoctoral researchers. The (commercially available) fiber-optic pressure sensor and acquiring instruments (interferometer, data acquisition system) are readily available in our skillslab where new data will be collected on human cadaveric heads together with a dedicated PhD student.

- You are responsible for (further) developing and evaluating the setup of intracochlear pressure measurement methods to the problem on hand to overcome technical difficulties concerning pressure measurements using miniature sensors.Particular challenges will be the acquiring software and improving the signal conditioner. More specifically, a major task is to develop a custom-made data acquisition software application that will be used to read out fiber optic sensors. The software will be based on an existing platform (RBA and Apex) that was developed in our lab.

This job comes from a partnership with Science Magazine and Euraxess