University of Oklahoma - Rong Gan
OCAST PROGRAM: Oklahoma Health Research, Oklahoma Applied Research Support
OCAST FUNDING: $513,516
LEVERAGED FUNDING: $1.8M in federal funding
PATENT APPLICATIONS FILED: 2
PUBLICATIONS FROM RESEARCH: 31 archival journal papers and 90 conference papers and presentations
It’s easy to take the sweet sounds of life for granted – a child’s laughter, the notes of a favorite song or a loved one’s kind words. Silence can be frightening. But for the nearly 30 million people in the United States with hearing impairment, there have been significant developments in hearing devices. The next generation of hearing technology is just around the corner in a lab in Norman.
Oklahoma scientist Dr. Rong Z. Gan, Charles E. Foster Chair and professor of biomedical and mechanical engineering at the University of Oklahoma, is developing a superior hearing device that can be implanted in the human ear. Her research has identified methods to improve the quality and fit of a totally implantable hearing system. The next steps are fabrication of the device and acquiring FDA approval; the product could be marketed within five years.
Dr. Gan also is working to prevent hearing loss. Ear pieces for cell phone and iPods are ubiquitous in modern society and can lead to hearing damage. Her latest focus includes collaborative work with a company to develop a motor that will aid in the prevention of hearing loss.
Dr. Gan with Ph.D. student Chenkai Dai examine a laser that measures vibrations in the middle ear.