VUB professor receives FWO mandate for work on hearing loss

VUB professor receives FWO mandate for work on hearing loss

Vedat Topsakal is studying a robotic arm to improve placement of cochlear implants

Vedat Topsakal, professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel and head of the ENT department at UZ Brussel, has been awarded a Fundamental Clinical Research Grant by the Research Foundation – Flanders (FWO). He will use the grant to study an autonomous robotic arm that assists in the placement of cochlear implants, which can partially restore hearing to people with hearing loss. His aim is to improve the surgical protocol of placement by a robot. His tenure begins on 1 October.

Placing a cochlear implant using a robot is more accurate than doing so by hand, due to technological advances in medical imaging and navigation systems. The research of Prof Topsakal aims to further standardise outcomes and improve the quality of implant care for hearing impaired patients.

Five percent of the world’s population has a restrictive hearing loss. If acoustic hearing aids can no longer improve hearing, in many cases a cochlear implant can improve it electrically. An implant is the most successful neuroprosthesis in medicine because it takes full advantage of the architecture of the inner ear.

Prof Topsakal was recently appointed as the medical department head of ENT at UZ Brussel and, despite his heavy clinical load, he has a very research-oriented mindset. He thus fulfils an exemplary role for current and future researchers at VUB and UZ Brussel.

Recordings of an operation by Vedat Topsakal using the robotic arm at UZ Brussel can be found here:

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Sicco Wittermans
Sicco Wittermans Spokesperson Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Sicco Wittermans
Sicco Wittermans Spokesperson Vrije Universiteit Brussel
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