Traditionally, algorithms that attempt to significantly improve speech intelligibility in noise for cochlear implant (CI) users have met with limited success, particularly in the presence of a fluctuating masker. In the present study, a speech enhancement algorithm integrating an artificial neural network (NN) into CI coding strategies is proposed. The algorithm decomposes the noisy input signal into time-frequency units, extracts a set of auditory-inspired features and feeds them to the NN to produce an estimation of which CI channels contain more perceptually important information (higher signal-to-noise ratio, SNR). This estimate is then used accordingly to retain a subset of channels for electrical stimulation, as in traditional n-of-m coding strategies. The proposed algorithm was tested with 10 normal-hearing participants listening to CI noise-vocoder simulations against a conventional Wiener filter based enhancement algorithm. Significant improvements in speech intelligibility in stationary and fluctuating noise were found over both unprocessed and Wiener filter processed conditions.