Bionic ear creator seeks funding for new spinal cord project

<P>January 31, 2007 (ABC)- LISA MILLAR: Since its creation in 1978, the cochlear implant has brought hearing to tens of thousands of people around the world. Now its creator is offering new hope to paraplegics.</P> <P>Professor Graeme Clark says another implant to repair spinal damage could be available within five years.</P> <P>He’s reluctant to call it a breakthrough, but Professor Clark says he’s made a significant step ahead in his research, which uses so-called "smart plastics" to regenerate nerve cells.<BR></P>