Inner and middle ear disorders are the leading cause of hearing loss, and are said to be among the greatest risk factors of dementia. The use of regenerative medicine for the treatment of inner ear disorders may offer a potential alternative to cochlear implants for hearing recovery. In this paper, we reviewed recent research and clinical applications in middle and inner ear regeneration and cell therapy. Recently, the mechanism of inner ear regeneration has gradually been elucidated. “Inner ear stem cells,” which may be considered the precursors of various cells in the inner ear, have been discovered in the cochlea and vestibule. Research indicates that cells such as hair cells, neurons, and spiral ligaments may form promising targets for inner ear regenerative therapies by the transplantation of stem cells, including mesenchymal stem cells. In addition, it is necessary to develop tests for the clinical monitoring of cell transplantation. Real-time imaging techniques and hearing rehabilitation techniques are also being investigated, and cell therapy has found clinical application in cochlear implant techniques.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Computer Science Applications
- Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
- Organic Chemistry
- Inorganic Chemistry