Analysis of the customized implantation process of a compliant mechanism with fluidic actuation used for cochlear implant electrode carriers
Patients suffering from severe to profound hearing loss, can be treated with a cochlea implant to restore hearing due to direct electrical stimulation of neurons. Hence, a silicone electrode carrier has to be implanted into the spiral-shaped organ of the cochlea (inner ear). The here presented fluid actuation by use of a compliant mechanism within the electrode carrier is designed to enable an active steering of the implant and its bending in order to achieve contactless insertion into the cochlea and a preset final position under a certain pressurization. An averaged small, middle and large spiral cochlea path has been defined based on the segmentation of 23 3D-datasets of human cochleae in order to enable the synthesis of individual implants. The fit of these implants within all three sizes of cochleae was adapted by variation of the pressure load which induces the bending of the implant.
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