Ear Science Institute Australia

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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. 

BMTH Round: Three

State: Western Australia

Project Partner: Deakin University


  • MTPConnect Grant: $935,791
  • Industry Contribution: $304,835

Duration: October 2020 - March 2023

    Visit Ear Science Institute Australia for more information  |  LinkedIn: Ear Science Institute Australia

    Contact: Professor Marcus Atlas & Dr Filippo Valente

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