BIONIC technology is well known for helping thousands of people worldwide hear for the first time.

But there are plenty more significant medical advancements just around the corner, according to a group of scientists at the University of Wollongong's Intelligent Polymer Research Institute.

The UOW team is working in collaboration with other Australian scientists to develop bionic technology for a variety of life-changing applications.

One of the first steps will be to make bionic ears with near-normal hearing, which could be a reality within five years, according to UOW professor Gordon Wallace.

The technology is also being used to develop artificial muscles capable of moving joints, and in the long-term scientists hope to be able to regenerate or repair spinal cords.

"The whole idea is to create the next generation of bionic medical devices," Prof Wallace said.