Innovative techniques for precise, atraumatic placement of cochlear implant (CI)
This research is to investigate new approaches in technology to produce an innovative integrated, automatic CI electrode array feed tool for demonstration in laboratory phantoms. The tool will minimise the level of trauma induced and increase the precision to which the electrode is fully placed within the cochlea. To achieve this, the research will investigate and integrate:
• A novel sensing scheme using CI electrodes for automatic perception and discrimination of the electrode array behaviour during placement to avoid damage to inner cochlear membrane structures.
• A novel micro-actuation approach for automated insertion of the array based on pulling as opposed to pushing that will achieve precise displacement on required axes without errors induced by electrode flexure.
• An automated strategy for electrode motion during placement to minimise the amplitude of intra-cochlear pressure transients and tissue interaction. Automation is a requirement as in this microsurgical, minimally invasive process precise actuation and perception is beyond the capability of human operators.
The outcome of the project will be will be evaluated and demonstrated in phantom units. The intracochlear disturbances level will be compared between the automated solution and conventional manual approach using the unique third window measurements.