Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

New City Firm Plans Implantable Hearing Aid

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

New City Firm Plans Implantable Hearing Aid

Article excerpt

After learning techniques of nano-manufacturing through NanoSource Technologies, Chuck Seeney has teamed with Kenneth Dormer to enter the world of nanobiomedicine.

Their first offering, through their company NanoBioMagnetics, is expected to be an implantable hearing aid.

"We are now setting up the management structure of the company and will start proving our technology soon," Seeney said Thursday. "If everything goes right, this will be the first application of nanomanufacturing technology to the biomedical device field."

This, essentially, will be the second generation of implantable hearing devices.

In fact, the company is using another implantable hearing aid, which is held onto bones of the inner ear by magnets, and miniaturizing it, Seeney said. The device they will be working on already is smaller than the tip of a ballpoint pen.

The new device will be implanted under the eardrum through a clinical procedure and held in place by a "patch," Seeney called it.

"Implanting the device will not be a surgical procedure, although it will require a trained physician to install it in a clinical setting," Seeney said. "It will be done on an outpatient basis."

To implant the device, the physician uses tiny instruments to reach through the ear canal, lift the eardrum and attach the device. The drum then is allowed to drop to its normal position, covering the device.

"It will basically be an on-off switch for the hearing aid," Seeney said.

NanoBioMagnetics has offices at 840 Research Parkway. Research and development are expected to be done there, but it has not determined where manufacturing will be done. "We hope that it can be done in Oklahoma City," he said.

With this new technology, Seeney -- a noted researcher and entrepreneur -- joins forces with Dormer, professor of physiology at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and a noted scientist in the field of implantable devices, in the emerging field.

NanoBioMagnetics has teamed with another Oklahoma City company that recently received approval from the U. …

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