New Invasive and Noninvasive Stimulation Technologies to Treat Hearing Disorders and Pain

Date(s) - 12/12/2016
3:00 pm

Hubert Lim, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Institute for Translational Neuroscience Scholar, University of Minnesota

Over the past decade, a variety of novel stimulation approaches have been developed for modulating the nervous system and body towards treating different health conditions. High-density multi-shank electrode arrays are being pursued for more precise and effective invasive stimulation of the nervous system. Stimulation technologies are expanding beyond just electrical stimulation to incorporate magnetic, optical and ultrasound modalities. Additional factors, such as the placebo effect, stress and attention levels, are also being explored in their ability to alter or enhance therapeutic effects. In my talk, I will present several new directions in my lab towards developing alternative and combined stimulation approaches for treating deafness, phantom sound pain (tinnitus), and inflammatory pain (rheumatoid arthritis). We have developed a new two-shank deep brain stimulation array for midbrain modulation to potentially restore hearing and treat tinnitus. We are also developing alternative noninvasive methods using ultrasound stimulation, peripheral nerve modulation, and stress relaxation techniques to better target and more consistently induce therapeutic effects for treating different types of pain. The initial success and future challenges of these approaches towards developing individualized treatments for patients will be presented.



Hubert Lim is an Associate Professor in the Biomedical Engineering and Otolaryngology Departments at the University of Minnesota and he is part of the Institute for Translational Neuroscience. He obtained his PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Michigan in 2005 and performed postdoctoral research at Hannover Medical School in Germany from 2006-2009 before starting at the University of Minnesota. His research focuses on neural engineering, neuromodulation technologies, sensory neuroscience, and neural plasticity with the aim of developing new stimulation treatments for hearing disorders and pain. Additional information can be found on his lab website: