Tinnitus relief technology is chosen for Make it in Great Britain
16 July 2012
The University of Leicester has been selected as a finalist in
a nationwide competition to seek out the UK’s next big pre-market
products, processes and concepts.
Successful entries of the Make it in Great Britain Challenge
include a new technology which could offer relief to tinnitus
sufferers, an eco-friendly alternative to everyday cement that could
reduce CO2 emissions by up to 90 per cent and a pushchair that can
be folded down to a 32 litre-size rucksack.
The inventions will be exhibited at the Make it in Great
Britain exhibition at the Science Museum in London, which will
coincide with the Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer.
The University of Leicester is shortlisted in the Life-Changing
category. Tinnitus is estimated to affect up to 10% of the western
population. The tinnitus relief technology is being developed at the
University of Leicester in collaboration with industrial partners
Orthoscopics and the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.
The technology may provide potential respite for responsive
tinnitus sufferers and is based on the discovery that exposure to
precise ‘narrow band’ wavelengths of light from the colour spectrum
appears to provide relief from Tinnitus symptoms in an estimated 40%
of sufferers. The technology uses red, green and blue LEDs, that can
be finely adjusted to produce a colour specific to an individual.
Responsive tinnitus sufferers report symptomatic relief over the
period of light exposure.
Earlier this year, the technology won a Design Council Award to
turn smart ideas into viable products through design. The University
of Leicester application, led by the Enterprise and Business
Development Team, got the go-ahead to spearhead four groundbreaking
research advances — including the tinnitus relief project — in the
2011 Innovate for Universities mentoring service.
Dr Mike Mulheran, based in the University Medical School and part
of the research team pioneering this project said, “Obviously I am
thrilled and delighted that the University of Leicester has been
selected as finalists in this strong national competition. Our
project was carried out with ENT colleagues at Leicester Royal
Infirmary. It appears that the precise spectral colour in some
tinnitus patients results in changed perception of their tinnitus.
Our aim with the Design Council support is to better develop this
technology for customised personal use at home.”
Tas Gohir, Intellectual Property Manager at the University of
Leicester, said: “I am very pleased to see ground-breaking
University of Leicester technology receiving this national
recognition. It is a great opportunity to showcase the innovation to
tinnitus sufferers, as well as potential commercial partners
interested in the technology.”
Business Minister Mark Prisk said: “The UK is full of creative
manufacturing expertise, and I’m delighted that we are able to
celebrate some of the best pre-market ideas through the Challenge.”
The winning entries will showcase alongside names such as Mars
and McLaren, and leading small and medium businesses like Ultra
Global in celebration of manufacturing. Visitors to the six-week
exhibition will be invited to vote on their favourite entry. The
winners from each weekly vote will feature together in the final
week of the exhibit.
To find out more about the finalists and to cast a vote for the
People’s Choice winner, visit the Make it in Great Britain website.
The Life-Changing category of entries, which includes the
tinnitus innovation, is being exhibited at the Science Museum
between 14 - 20 August.