Hopes to fully prove out the technology over the next two years
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (March 2, 2016) — University of Louisville faculty member Angelique Johnson and her company, MEMStim LLC , have has been using the Micro/Nano Technology Center (MNTC) at UofL to develop a cochlear hearing implant that she said would be cheaper and less damaging than ones currently available.
For people with severe hearing loss, a cochlear implant would cost about $30,000 and potentially damage residual hearing. In response, MEMStim has developed a tiny, durable flexible cochlear electrode array to replace costly hand-assembled alternatives.
Johnson has received more than $300,000 in federal and state investment funds to continue development of her implants. She said several major sellers of cochlear implants in the U.S. have expressed interest in her invention as well as smaller companies in India and China. She hopes to fully prove out the technology over the next two years and partner with a cochlear implant manufacturer to begin clinical trials.
MNTC director Kevin Walsh saidJohnson’s work brings exposure to the great micro/nano technology research and development facilities at UofL while Johnson expects her medical device company to take off and eventually employ over 50 people.
“We’re going to expand opportunities in the technology sector for brilliant and talented people to work in Louisville” she said.
Johnson is faculty in the College of Business and teaches courses in Business Plan Competition and New Venture Creation.