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Micromachines 2019, 10(1), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10010040

Numerical Study and Optimization of a Novel Piezoelectric Transducer for a Round-Window Stimulating Type Middle-Ear Implant

1
School of Mechatronic Engineering, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou 221116, China
2
State Key Laboratory of Mechanical System and Vibrations, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 November 2018 / Revised: 27 December 2018 / Accepted: 4 January 2019 / Published: 9 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Implantable Microdevices)
Full-Text   |   PDF [34746 KB, uploaded 9 January 2019]   |  

Abstract

Round window (RW) stimulation is a new application of middle ear implants for treating hearing loss, especially for those with middle ear disease. However, most reports on it are based on the use of the floating mass transducer (FMT), which was not originally designed for round window stimulation. The mismatch of the FMT’s diameter and the round window membrane’s diameter and the uncontrollable preload of the transducer, leads to a high variability in its clinical outcomes. Accordingly, a new piezoelectric transducer for the round-window-stimulating-type middle ear implant is proposed in this paper. The transducer consists of a piezoelectric stack, a flextensional amplifier, a coupling rod, a salver, a plate, a titanium housing and a supporting spring. Based on a constructed coupling finite element model of the human ear and the transducer, the influences of the transducer design parameters on its performance were analyzed. The optimal structure of the supporting spring, which determines the transducer’s resonance frequency, was ascertained. The results demonstrate that our designed transducer generates better output than the FMT, especially at low frequency. Besides this, the power consumption of the transducer was significantly decreased compared with a recently reported RW-stimulating piezoelectric transducer. View Full-Text
Keywords: piezoelectric transducer; middle ear implant; round window stimulation; hearing loss; flextensional amplifier; finite element analysis piezoelectric transducer; middle ear implant; round window stimulation; hearing loss; flextensional amplifier; finite element analysis
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Liu, H.; Wang, H.; Rao, Z.; Yang, J.; Yang, S. Numerical Study and Optimization of a Novel Piezoelectric Transducer for a Round-Window Stimulating Type Middle-Ear Implant. Micromachines 2019, 10, 40.

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