Multi-channel Cochlear Implant (Bionic Ear) (1978-)

Also known as
Bionic Ear (1978-)
Cochlear Implant (1978-)
Implantable Hearing Prosthesis (1978-)
NLA Persistent Identifier
https://nla.gov.au/nla.party-1708145

Biographies

The Multi-channel Cochlear Implant was the first device to allow severe-to-profoundly deaf people to understand speech. Graeme Clark working with engineers created the first prototype fully implantable Multi-channel Cochlear Implant. In addition, as senior surgeon he led the surgical implantation of this prototype receiver-stimulator at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital on 1 August 1978. The Multi-channel Cochlear Implant is popularly known as the Bionic Ear.

The concept of the bionic ear dates back to the acceptance of Graeme Clark's PhD thesis in 1969. Clark began this research with the aim of developing a cochlear implant - a device which could be surgically implanted into the cochlea (inner ear). This device would then be used to electrically stimulate the auditory nerves, thereby allowing a deaf person to hear. Clark continued this research from 1970 as the Professor of Otolaryngology at the University of Melbourne. Eventually a prosthesis was developed which could be inserted into the cochlear (inner ear) of a severe-profoundly deaf person.

Between 1974 and 1976, three 'telethons' were aired by Channel 10 to raise funds for research and development into the device. The term 'bionic ear' was coined by Clark in 1974 when the television producers for the 'telethons' asked for a more 'catchy' name for the cochlear implant.

By 1976, the research team led by Clark had produced a benchtop version of the bionic ear. The first cochlear implant to allow a patient to understand speech took place on 1 August 1978. The implant was received by Rod Saunders at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital in Melbourne.

The bionic ear was to become a major Australian contribution to the treatment of deafness.

  • Research - Graeme Clark completes preliminary studies on the bionic ear in his PhD thesis
  • Business event - Three telethons aired by Channel 10 to raise funding for the bionic ear.
  • Research - Benchtop version of the circuit design for cochlear implant completed at the Department of Otolaryngology, the University of Melbourne
  • Research - The first cochlear implant to allow a patient to understand speech was received by Rod Saunders at the Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital

View the full record at Encyclopedia of Australian Science

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Encyclopedia of Australian Science

Resources for Multi-channel Cochlear Implant (Bionic Ear)

Selected resources (14)

Encyclopedia of Australian Science

  1. Multi-channel Cochlear Implant (Bionic Ear)
    Published: The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre
    Series: Encyclopedia of Australian Science
  2. The Story of the Bionic Ear
    Epstein, June
    Published: Hyland House, 1989
  3. Middle ear and neural mechanisms in hearing and in the management of deafness [manuscript]
    Clark, Graeme M.
    Published: Sydney, 1969
  4. From the Editor
    Chung, King
    Published: 2006
    Series: Trends in Amplification, 10, 4, 173-174
  5. The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital
    Published: The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, 2011
  6. International Application Published Under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). 59812/80: Speech Processor [Specification AU-A]
    Published: World Intellectual Property Organization: International Bureau, 1980
  7. Research - Health and food - Professor Graeme Clark and his invention, the Bionic Ear, 1984
    Australian Government, National Archives of Australia
    Published: Commonwealth of Australia, National Archives of Australia, 2016
  8. Graeme Clark's Gift to the World [blog post]
    Tully, Helen
    Published: National Film and Sound Archive of Australia, Commonwealth of Australia, 2015
    Series: NFSA Blog, National Film and Sound Archive of Australia website
  9. Design Criteria of a Multiple-electrode Cochlear Implant Hearing Prosthesis
    Clark, G.M., Black, R.C., Forster I.C., Patrick, J.F., Tong, Y.C.
    Published: 1978
    Series: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 63, 631-633
  10. Cochlear implants: Fundamentals and Applications
    Clark, Graeme Milbourne
    Published: Springer Verlag, New York, 2003
  11. Bionic Ear: Fact Sheet
    Bionics Institute
    Published: Bionics Institute, 2016
  12. Bionic Ear Prototype
    National Museum of Australia
    Published: National Museum of Australia, 2015
  13. Graeme Clark: The Man Who Invented the Bionic Ear
    Worthing, Mark
    Published: Allen & Unwin, Crows Nest, 2015
  14. Interview with Professor Graeme Clark
    O'Leary, Stephen
    Published: Australian Academy of Science, 2011
    Series: Interviews with Australian scientists

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  1. Bionic Ear Institute (Australia) (1983-2011)
    ... Multi-channel Cochlear Implant (Bionic Ear) (1978 - ) ... CRC for Cochlear Implant and Hearing Aid Innovation (1999 - 2007) ... The Bionic Ear Institute was founded as independent medical research institute undertaking medical ... bionics research with a particular focus on cochlear implants and other hearing devices for adults and ...
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  2. Cochlear Implant Clinic Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital (1985-)
    ... Multi-channel Cochlear Implant (Bionic Ear) (1978 - ) ... CRC for Cochlear Implant and Hearing Aid Innovation (1999 - 2007) ... The Cochlear Implant Clinic was established by the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital in 1985. It ... (which combine the cochlear implant in one ear with a speech processing hearing aid in the other). By ...
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  3. CRC for Cochlear Implant and Hearing Aid Innovation (1999-)
    ... Multi-channel Cochlear Implant (Bionic Ear) (1978 - ) ... Cochlear Implant Clinic, Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital (1985 - ) ... Established in July 1999 with a seven year grant, the CRC for Cochlear Implant and Hearing Aid ... Innovation (CRC HEAR) replaced the CRC for Cochlear Implant, Speech and Hearing Research. In their website ...
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  1. Grants to further develop bionic ear
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Friday 8 February 1985 p 10 Article
    ... it would be used "to undertake advanced research on a multi-channel cochlear implant, using state ... industrial research by Nucleus, which developed a multi-channel bionic ear. That car had been clinically ... 284 words
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  2. Bionic ear 'has potential in the US'
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Saturday 6 October 1984 p 9 Article
    ... the multi-channel Australian bionic ear was the most sophisticated device available and results at the ... a break at the first Australian National Cochlear Implant (bionic ear) symposium yesterday. She said ... 205 words
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  1. Bionic Ear Collection
    Richard Gillespie; Meg Lomax
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  2. More funds for the commercial development of the bionic ear
    Newman, Kevin
    [ Article : 1980 ]
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    More funds for the commercial development of the bionic ear
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  3. Graeme Clark Cochlear Scholarship launched
    Better Hearing
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  4. MEDICINE Rival devices aim to help the deaf hear
    The bulletin.
    [ Article : 1984 ]
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    Australian Broadcasting Corporation. News
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  1. Efficient wireless powering and reliable biotelemetry of neural implants / Ahmed Al-Kalbani
    Al-Kalbani, Ahmed Ibrahim Saleem
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