A novel intracochlear injection method for rapid drug delivery to vestibular end organs

Vishal Raghu, Yugandhar Ramakrishna, Robert F. Burkard, Soroush G. Sadeghi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Injection into the inner ear through the round window (RW) or a cochleostomy is a reliable method for delivering drugs or viruses to the cochlea. This method has been less effective for fast deliveries to vestibular end organs. New Method: We describe a novel approach for rapid delivery of drugs to the vestibular end organ via the oval window (OW) and scala vestibuli in 1–3 month old C57BL/6 mice. The OW was directly accessed through the external ear canal after ablating the tympanic membrane and middle ear ossicles. A canalostomy in the superior canal provided a low pressure point for faster transit of injected solution from the OW to the vestibular neuroepithelia, allowing for higher rates of injection. Results: The efficacy of this technique was shown by fast transit times of a colored artificial perilymph from the OW to the utricle and the ampullae of the horizontal and superior canals in ∼2 min. Following injection, the response of the vestibular nerve was preserved, as measured by the vestibular sensory evoked potentials (VsEP). Comparison with Existing Methods: Previous studies have used posterior semicircular canals or the RW with canalostomy to gain access to vestibular end organs in mice. The OW with canalostomy, provides the means for high injection rates and fast and reliable delivery of drugs to vestibular hair cells and afferent terminals. Conclusions: The presented method for injections through the OW provides rapid delivery of solutions to vestibular end organs without adversely affecting vestibular nerve responses measured by VsEP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108689
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
StatePublished - Jul 15 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Canalostomy
  • Oval window
  • Round window
  • Utricle
  • Vestibular evoked potential
  • Vestibular nerve
  • VsEP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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