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Innovative techniques for precise, atraumatic placement of cochlear implant

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 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.

Meet the Principal Investigator(s) for the project

Dr Xinli Du
Dr Xinli Du - Dr Xinli Du joined Brunel Institute for Bioengineering as a Research Lecturer in August 2010. Xinli’s PhD degree was awarded by Loughborough University (U.K.) Control Systems Research Group in 2008. He then joined Aston University working as a Research Associate. His research has focused on smart surgical tools and multiple sensing technology. Some successful projects include a surgical robotic micro-drill and a smart tackle sensing surface.

Related Research Group(s)

robotic production line

Quality Engineering and Smart Technology -


Biomedical Engineering - Research in the growing multi-disciplinary field of advanced technology as devices, processes and modelling to advance health through improvements in therapy, diagnosis, screening, monitoring and rehabilitation.

Partnering with confidence

Organisations interested in our research can partner with us with confidence backed by an external and independent benchmark: The Knowledge Exchange Framework. Read more.

Project last modified 22/11/2023