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Sensors 2016, 16(3), 332; doi:10.3390/s16030332

Developing an Ear Prosthesis Fabricated in Polyvinylidene Fluoride by a 3D Printer with Sensory Intrinsic Properties of Pressure and Temperature

Department of Electrical Engineering, Section of Bioelectronics, Center for Research and Advanced Studies, CINVESTAV-IPN, Av. IPN 2508, Col. San Pedro Zacatenco, C.P. 07360, D.F., Mexico
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vittorio M. N. Passaro
Received: 19 November 2015 / Revised: 18 February 2016 / Accepted: 29 February 2016 / Published: 4 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1177 KB, uploaded 4 March 2016]   |  


An ear prosthesis was designed in 3D computer graphics software and fabricated using a 3D printing process of polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) for use as a hearing aid. In addition, the prosthesis response to pressure and temperature was observed. Pyroelectric and piezoelectric properties of this ear prosthesis were investigated using an astable multivibrator circuit, as changes in PVDF permittivity were observed according to variations of pressure and temperature. The results show that this prosthesis is reliable for use under different conditions of pressure (0 Pa to 16,350 Pa) and temperature (2 °C to 90 °C). The experimental results show an almost linear and inversely proportional behavior between the stimuli of pressure and temperature with the frequency response. This 3D-printed ear prosthesis is a promising tool and has a great potentiality in the biomedical engineering field because of its ability to generate an electrical potential proportional to pressure and temperature, and it is the first time that such a device has been processed by the additive manufacturing process (3D printing). More work needs to be carried out to improve the performance, such as electrical stimulation of the nervous system, thereby extending the purpose of a prosthesis to the area of sensory perception. View Full-Text
Keywords: 3D printer; pressure; prostheses; PVDF; smart materials; temperature 3D printer; pressure; prostheses; PVDF; smart materials; temperature

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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

Suaste-Gómez, E.; Rodríguez-Roldán, G.; Reyes-Cruz, H.; Terán-Jiménez, O. Developing an Ear Prosthesis Fabricated in Polyvinylidene Fluoride by a 3D Printer with Sensory Intrinsic Properties of Pressure and Temperature. Sensors 2016, 16, 332.

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