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Método y dispositivo para reajustar automáticamente implantes cocleares


Oferta Tecnológica
Un equipo de científicos alemanes ha desarrollado un método y dispositivo para calibrar la amplificación de implantes cocleares de forma continua y evitar al paciente el reajuste permanente y ambulante. El sistema compara el volumen del micrófono externo con una curva que hace que el músculo estapedio se comporte de una forma determinada. Si el comportamiento medido es diferente al esperado, el sistema cambia los parámetros de amplificación. El equipo de científicos busca un socio industrial del sector de ingeniería médica para continuar con el desarrollo del prototipo y establecer un acuerdo de investigación en materia de investigación o licencia.


Method and device for automatic readjustment of cochlear implants
A team of German scientists developed a method and a device for a continuously recalibration of cochlear implants amplification that avoids a permanent ambulant readjustment for the patient. The scientists are interested in a cooperation with an industrial partner from medical engineering for further developments of the prototype on the basis of a research cooperation agreement. Also a license agreement is of interest.
Patients, who have lost their ability to hear because of birth defects or damage to the hair cell in the inner ear (cochlear), can get back their hearing by an cochlear implant. To do so, special electrodes are used to replace the function of the hair cells which normally pass the mechanical vibration to the cell body. Those electrodes directly stimulate the acusticus nerve. Due to naturally occurring physiological variation every patient has different transfer characteristics, so every electrode needs to be adjusted separately. The first calibration is used to be done during the operation when the cochlear implant is implanted. After this, the amplification parameters are required to be readjusted in an ambulant treatment in regular intervals because the signal transmission is altered by a physiological process.

The difficulty by doing so is the placement of the electrodes around the stapedius muscle. This muscle is located in a bone cave behind the ear and is only a few Millimeters big in size. For this reason, all operations bear the risk of damaging the face nerves.

It is known, that the electrical stimulation of the stapedius muscle by the brain is not following a 0-1 scheme. It is following in a continuous curve which correlates with the signal intensity. Because of this, the developed method aims to continuously recalibrate every amplification factor. This task is solved by using an integrated control system. The system compares the outer microphone volume with a target curve which causes the stapedius muscle to behave in a certain way. If the measured behavior is different from the expected one, the system changes the amplifying parameters. By observing and storing the stapedius activity it is possible to make the amplification factors dependent on the volume, which makes a nonlinear amplification possible. A prototype of this system is available for demonstration purposes.

The scientists want to develop this method and device further towards a marketable medicine product. For this further development the scientists are seeking a suitable industrial partner for a cooperation based on a research cooperation agreement or a license agreement.
Advantages and Innovations:
In comparison with the state of the art the developed method and device avoids the risks of the necessary ambulant readjustments of usual cochlear implants.
The novel method and device makes it possible for infants to get a differentiated hearing ability and to learn speaking nearly in a normal way. Additionally, the effective usable volume range is enhanced by this innovation.
Stage of Development:
Prototype available for demonstration
Patents granted
CommeR Statunts Regarding IPR Status:
DE patent granted
PCT application pending

Partner sought

Type and Role of Partner Sought:
Type and Role of Partner Sought:
- Industry

Specific area of activity of the partner:
- Industry: medical technology, medical engineering

Task to be performed:
- Interest in cooperation for further development and in commercialization of the innovation


Type and Size of Client:
Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation:
Languages Spoken:


Technology Keywords:
09002 Amplificador, transductor A/D
01002003 Electronic engineering
06005002 Sensores y productos inalámbricos
03007 Tecnología / ingeniería del sonido
06001013 Tecnología médica / ingeniería biomédica