Research Topic

Identifying Novel Drug Delivery Systems and Treatments for Hearing Loss and Related Ear Disorders

About this Research Topic

Previous studies have shown that hearing loss can be directly associated with changes in neurological functions, resulting in an increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Therefore, identifying potential novel treatments of hearing loss remains important, especially for middle and inner ear diseases, ...

Previous studies have shown that hearing loss can be directly associated with changes in neurological functions, resulting in an increased risk of cognitive decline and dementia. Therefore, identifying potential novel treatments of hearing loss remains important, especially for middle and inner ear diseases, and holds importance within a neuropharmacological context.

As the outer ear is mainly composed of skin tissue, this allows for a simpler approach in delivering drugs. However, although therapeutics can be directly be applied to the inner ears, there is a volume limitation because of the intricate anatomy of this small organ. If pharmacological drug solutions were injected into the inner ear, damage of sensory hair as a result of mechanical pressure can occur. The inner ear membranes and barriers, specifically the blood labyrinth barrier, can also prevent the delivery of therapeutic drugs, and these continue to pose a challenge with inner ear drug delivery research. As such, only topical treatments to date have been reported to be used for inner ear regenerative medicine including pharmacological, gene and stem cell therapy, as it allows a higher drug concentration to reach the target organ without systemic side effects.

Within this Research Topic, our goal is to elucidate the pharmacokinetics of ear drug delivery systems, the neuropharmacology underlying these diseases and how this can translate to drug discovery. We will explore potential new drugs, genes, cells, technology, and engineering used to overcome difficulties in the treatment of ear diseases including hearing loss. For drug delivery and pharmacokinetics of ears, we aim to answer the following questions:

• How can drugs reach the inner, middle, and external ear more efficiently?
• What new technologies are available for efficient drug release or promoting new drug delivery efficiently?
• How do we approach the preservation of hearing function, including endoscopic or surgical approaches?

This Research Topic will provide a comprehensive review to better understand the pharmacokinetics of ear drug delivery systems (DDS) and treatments from different fields while providing a forum to promote this subject. We accept submissions focused on inner, middle, and outer ear disorders as a cause of hearing loss and research that includes animal experiments or human clinical trials. Animal studies will focus on effects of existing or unknown drug for deafness models. We expect submissions of different types such as Original Research, General Commentary, and Reviews focusing on, but not limited to, the following topics:

• Neuropharmacology underlying hearing loss and related ear disorders;
• Inner ear regeneration studies;
• Pharmacokinetics and DDS in crossing the inner ear blood barrier;
• Pharmacological agents for the treatment of Otitis and other middle ear diseases;
• Novel ear disorder treatments using gene and cell therapy



Topic Editor Professor Konstantina Stankovic received financial support from WayVecor, Inc and holds multiple patents related to the theme of this Research Topic. The other Topic Editors declare no competing interests with regard to the Research Topic subject.


Keywords: Ear, drug delivery, pharmacology, treatment, hearing loss


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

14 December 2020 Manuscript
16 March 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

14 December 2020 Manuscript
16 March 2021 Manuscript Extension

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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