PhD degree successfully defended by Charlotte Amalie Emdal Navntoft

Monday 14 Dec 20



Jeremy Marozeau
Groupleader, Associate Professor
DTU Health Tech
+45 45 25 47 90
On 30 November 2020, Charlotte Nanvtoft defended her PhD project ”Improving cochlear implant performance with new pulse shapes: a multidisciplinary approach”, supervised by Associate Professor Tania Rinaldi Barkat at the University of Basel, and Associate Professor Jeremy Marozeau.

The aim of Charlotte’s PhD project was to investigate if a new type of electrical stimulation can improve the performance of the cochlear implant to restore hearing for deaf persons. The cochlear implant (CI) is a device implanted into the inner ear of a severely hearing-impaired person to allow sound perception by electrically stimulating of the auditory nerve. Although this technology has helped more than 600,000 people worldwide, most CI users still struggle in complex acoustic environments. One problem is that the intracochlear electrodes are not directly attached to the auditory nerve fibers. As a consequence, each electrode activates not just target nerve fibers nearby, but also nerve fibers further away, considered off-target. She has shown that the benefits of charge-efficiency, but not spatial selectivity, with a ramped pulses stimuli relative to rectangular pulses. The results lay the foundation for further research on a ramped CI stimulation strategy, which may lead to improved performance with CI’s in the future.
This project was the first collaboration between the University of Basel and the Hearing System Section. It gave us a great opportunity to study an the electroneural interface using both animal model and human behaviour. During the first part of her PhD, Charlotte has collected data on mice in Switzerland, and during the other half on people with a cochlear implant at DTU

Principal supervisor: Associate Professor Jeremy Marozeau
Co-supervisor: Associate Professor Tania Rinaldi Barkat

Associate Professor Bastian Epp, DTU Health Tech
Professor Andrej Kral, Hannover Medical University
Professor Johannes Frijns, Leiden University

Chairperson at defence:
Senior Researcher Jens Hjortkjær

(Leftmost) Chairman of the examiner committee Associate Professor Bastian Epp, DTU Health Tech, Principal supervisor: Associate Professor Jeremy Marozeau, DTU Health Tech, PhD Charlotte Navntoft. Photo: Pernille Holtegaard