Ear Science Institute Australia

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Western Australia

BMTH Round: Third

Project Title: ClearDrum®: an acoustically-optimised silk fibroin membrane for the treatment of chronic middle ear disease.

ClearDrum® is an implantable synthetic ear drum that simplifies and quickens surgery to repair a hole in the eardrum.

Chronic middle ear disease (CMED), afflicts almost 5% of the world’s population and is particularly prevalent in Australian indigenous populations, with an incidence rate of 90% in indigenous children. The World Health Organization estimates that 65-330 million individuals have CMED, and 60% of them have a significant hearing impairment, directly linked to poor education, lower employment opportunities and a decline in mental health.  The current treatments leave many of these individuals with ongoing problems, often requiring multiple surgeries.

The breakthrough project ClearDrum®, developed by Ear Science Institute Australia (ESIA) will offer a real solution for ear drum repair and other middle ear disease solutions. 

Cleardrum® aims to provide an ‘off-the-shelf’ solution, to treat chronic middle ear disease, leading to perforation in a single, straightforward surgical procedure.  Developed in conjunction with Deakin University, ClearDrum® is truly revolutionary due to its 3D shape and its mechanical and acoustic properties. 

ESIA partnered up with Deakin University’s Future Fibers Hub to develop a device prototype based on silk fibroin biomaterial and shaped as a human tympanic membrane.  We now have a working prototype and a contracted manufacturer, with a strong international intellectual property position.

The project was awarded $3.89m grant from The Wellcome Trust for its clinical studies and the first clinic trial is scheduled for mid-2021.

This ground-breaking device speeds up the healing of a damaged eardrum and will contribute to treating one of the biggest causes of hearing loss in indigenous populations in Western Australia and also across the world. 

Visit Ear Science Institute Australia for more information.

Case Study:

LinkedIn: Ear Science Institute Australia

Project Partner: Deakin University

Contact: Professor Marcus AtlasDr Filippo Valente