Women in Nanoscience

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Women in Nano Blog

Women Making a Difference: Angelique Johnson builds novel hearing aids from nano-electrodes

Posted on February 21, 2016 at 6:40 PM

(Dr. Johnson wearing a bunny suit inside the cleanroom lab of University of Michigan).


Angelique Johnson, CEO of MEMStim has made a new device to help the hearing of people with a damaged cochlea. During her graduate days at the University of Michigan, Dr. Johnson (MSE ’07, PhD EE ’11), discovered a low-cost, high yield nanofabrication process that produced a novel electrode array. Her new device helps reduce residual hearing loss, offers drug delivery channels for inner ear health and cell regeneration, and improves surgical safety outcomes for people of all ages. The electrode arrays of metal wires are directly implanted inside the human cochlea. A normal functioning cochlea uses hair cells to produce electrical signals that stimulate the auditory nerves. Johnson’s electrodes help create the electrical signals in the damaged cochlea and transmit them through the auditory path for the brain to interpret.


Dr. Johnson founded MEMStim after winning $27,000 as award for the best business and presentation at the Michigan Business Challenge. She also received a $1,500 grant from Eugene Applebaum ‘Dare to Dream’ Grant Program which is given to U-M budding startups. MEMS fabrication is now a fully automated firm producing customizable electrode leads. The company is working towards distributing its MEMS electrode leads to medical companies for nerve stimulation devices. See more here.


(Dr. Johnson running the Cleveland marathon).


Dr. Johnson loves to travel the world and her favourite sport is running. She has completed four full marathons and several half marathons.


(Dr. Jonhson loves to travel. This picture is from her holidays in Thailand.)


(Dr. Johnson while travelling in Bermuda.)


- Written by Nakita Sengar, edited by Paulette Clancy


(Photo credit: Provided by and used with permission from Dr. Angelique Johnson, credit to: Marathon: Brightroom event photography, In the cleanroom: Mayurachat Gulari, With elephants: Chollad Suksom, Word travels: Martinique Johnson).

Categories: WINnews

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