The mammalian cochlea is one of the least accessible organs for drug delivery. Systemic administration of many drugs is severely limited by the blood-labyrinth barrier. Local intratympanic administration into the middle ear would be a preferable option in this case, and the only option for many newly emerging classes of drugs, but it leads to the formation of drug concentration gradients along the extensive, narrow cochlea. The gradients are orders of magnitude and well outside the therapeutic windows. Here we present an efficient, quick, and simple method of cochlear pumping, through large-amplitude, low-frequency reciprocal oscillations of the stapes and round window, which can consistently and uniformly deliver drugs along the entire length of the intact cochlea within minutes without disrupting the cochlear boundaries. The method should facilitate novel ways of approaching the treatment of inner ear disorders because it overcomes the challenge of delivering therapeutics along the entire cochlear length.
Bibliographical note© 2020 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
- Drug Delivery System
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- School of Applied Sciences - Professor of Neurobiology
- Centre for Stress and Age-Related Disease
- Sensory Neuroscience Research and Enterprise Group