The Cardinal Edge


The inner ear houses the cochlea which contains hair cells responsible for the transduction of sound waves. The process of forming these hair cells responsible for hearing is a complicated process consisting of many signaling factors that allow ectoderm to form into the otic placode, the otic vesicle, and finally prosensory cells such as hair cells (Schlosser, 2006). Loss of these hair cells contributes to deafness and hearing loss throughout life, and regeneration of these cells may serve as a therapeutic agent for those with irreversible damage. This review looks at the development of the otic placode and hair cells and the possibility of regenerating hair cells from stem cell populations.