Head of Research Group *Pharmacology of the Inner Ear*
Medizinische Hochschule Hannover
Klinik für Hals-Nasen-Ohrenheilkunde
My research focus is on optimizing the hearing outcome of patients. My treatment strategies are pharmacologically based and focus either on hearing preservation before trauma insult will damage the hearing or on therapeutic approaches in already traumatized ears.
During my doctoral thesis I was working on optimizing the cochlear implant outcome in experimentally deafened guinea pigs using growth factors, the glucocorticoid dexamethasone and/or chronic electrical stimulation. Here the drugs were applied using a pump based system (Scheper et al., 2009). Additionally I worked on a locally deafened rat model and cell culture of primary auditory neurons (Wefstaedt et al., 2005).
Within my first years as Post-doc I was focused on nanoparticle based local drug delivery to the inner ear. In detail, lipidic nanocapsules, hyperbranched polylysines, micells, hydrogel and silica based particles were used to target inner ear cells and deliver growth factors or small molecules (BDNF, Rolipram, Dexamethasone) (Scheper et al., 2009, Meyer et al., 2012).
In recent studies we investigated the effect of dexamethasone application on peri-implant fibrosis and residual hearing using various delivery methods. We were the first to proof a correlation between impedance increase after CI-surgery and connective tissue growth. And we were able to show that DEX relesased from the CI is decreasing the fibrosis (Wilk et al., 2016). When delivering DEX in chronically electrically stimulated animals we did show a synnergistical effect of both treatments in regard to spiral ganglion neuron preservation (Scheper et al., 2017).