New Drug Cocktail Unlocks Potential to Regrow Inner-Ear ‘Hair’ Cells

Using a drug cocktail in a petri dish, researchers can now grow colonies of sound-sensing hair cells (magenta) with intricate hair bundles (cyan) from a single cochlear hair cell. This finding may accelerate the development of new therapies for hearing loss.

A team of researchers has developed a new approach to replace damaged sound-sensing hair cells, which eventually may lead to therapies for people who live with disabling hearing loss. Like a snail shell in a human’s inner ear, spirals are roughly 15,000 “hair” cells receive, translate, and then ship sound signals to the brain. Damage to these cells from excessive

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