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Samuel P Gubbels, MD, FACS, is featured in a recent article in which he discusses his work to develop hair cells – those found in the inner ear – from stem cells, either in the body or the lab to help those with hearing loss.

Dr. Gubbels admits that although many people with severe hearing impairments can be helped with cochlear implants – electronic devices that bypass the hair cells – the ultimate treatment for 80 percent of patients with hearing loss could be to replace the hair cells.

Dr. Gubbels performs the surgery to place cochlear implants at the University of Wisconsin and says they “are a blessing for people who have hearing loss, and I am lucky to be able to help people by implanting them. The bar for regenerative treatment is high because cochlear implants work so well.”

But cochlear implants are expensive, require surgery, and lead to a lifetime dependence on technology. Much better – but much more difficult – would be a way to replace dead hair cells.

Read the full story on here.

To learn more about cochlear implants and the cochlear implant team at UW Health, please click here. Copyright © 2016 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System