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Sensors 2015, 15(9), 22798-22810; doi:10.3390/s150922798

A New Trans-Tympanic Microphone Approach for Fully Implantable Hearing Devices

1
Graduate School of Electronic Engineering, Kyungpook National University, 80 Daehak-ro, Buk-gu, 41566 Daegu, Korea
2
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Kyungpook National University Hospital, 130 Dongdeok-ro, Jung-gu, 41944 Daegu, Korea
3
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, 496 Lomita Mall, 94305 CA, USA
4
Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University, 680 Gukchaebosang-ro, Jung-gu, 41944 Daegu, Korea
5
School of Electronics Engineering, College of IT Engineering, Kyungpook National University, 80 Daehakro, Buk-gu, 41566 Daegu, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Xiaoning Jiang
Received: 21 May 2015 / Revised: 28 August 2015 / Accepted: 31 August 2015 / Published: 9 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1161 KB, uploaded 15 September 2015]   |  

Abstract

Fully implantable hearing devices (FIHDs) have been developed as a new technology to overcome the disadvantages of conventional acoustic hearing aids. The implantable microphones currently used in FIHDs, however, have difficulty achieving high sensitivity to environmental sounds, low sensitivity to body noise, and ease of implantation. In general, implantable microphones may be placed under the skin in the temporal bone region of the skull. In this situation, body noise picked up during mastication and touching can be significant, and the layer of skin and hair can both attenuate and distort sounds. The new approach presently proposed is a microphone implanted at the tympanic membrane. This method increases the microphone’s sensitivity by utilizing the pinna’s directionally dependent sound collection capabilities and the natural resonances of the ear canal. The sensitivity and insertion loss of this microphone were measured in human cadaveric specimens in the 0.1 to 16 kHz frequency range. In addition, the maximum stable gain due to feedback between the trans-tympanic microphone and a round-window-drive transducer, was measured. The results confirmed in situ high-performance capabilities of the proposed trans-tympanic microphone. View Full-Text
Keywords: fully implantable hearing devices; implantable microphone; trans-tympanic; ventilation tube; cadaveric experiments; cochlear implants fully implantable hearing devices; implantable microphone; trans-tympanic; ventilation tube; cadaveric experiments; cochlear implants
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Woo, S.T.; Shin, D.H.; Lim, H.-G.; Seong, K.-W.; Gottlieb, P.; Puria, S.; Lee, K.-Y.; Cho, J.-H. A New Trans-Tympanic Microphone Approach for Fully Implantable Hearing Devices. Sensors 2015, 15, 22798-22810.

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