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Open AccessArticle

The Influence of Piezoelectric Transducer Stimulating Sites on the Performance of Implantable Middle Ear Hearing Devices: A Numerical Analysis

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.
Micromachines 2019, 10(11), 782; https://doi.org/10.3390/mi10110782
Received: 10 October 2019 / Revised: 8 November 2019 / Accepted: 12 November 2019 / Published: 14 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Piezoelectric Transducers: Materials, Devices and Applications)
To overcome the inherent deficiencies of hearing aids, implantable middle ear hearing devices (IMEHDs) have emerged as a new treatment for hearing loss. However, clinical results show that the IMEHD performance varies with its transducer’s stimulating site. To numerically analyze the influence of the piezoelectric transducer’s stimulating sites on its hearing compensation performance, we constructed a human ear finite element model and confirmed its validity. Based on this finite element model, the displacement stimulation, which simulates the piezoelectric transducer’s stimulation, was applied to the umbo, the incus long process, the incus body, the stapes, and the round window membrane, respectively. Then, the stimulating site’s effect of the piezoelectric transducer was analyzed by comparing the corresponding displacements of the basilar membrane. Besides, the stimulating site’s sensitivity to the direction of excitation was also studied. The result of the finite element analysis shows that stimulating the incus body is least efficient for the piezoelectric transducer. Meanwhile, stimulating the round window membrane or the stapes generates a higher basilar membrane displacement than stimulating the eardrum or the incus long process. However, the performance of these two ideal sites’ stimulation is sensitive to the changes in the excitation’s direction. Thus, the round window membrane and the stapes is the ideal stimulating sites for the piezoelectric transducer regarding the driving efficiency. The direction of the excitation should be guaranteed for these ideal sites. View Full-Text
Keywords: implantable middle ear hearing device; piezoelectric transducer; stimulating site; finite element analysis; hearing compensation implantable middle ear hearing device; piezoelectric transducer; stimulating site; finite element analysis; hearing compensation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Liu, H.; Zhao, Y.; Yang, J.; Rao, Z. The Influence of Piezoelectric Transducer Stimulating Sites on the Performance of Implantable Middle Ear Hearing Devices: A Numerical Analysis. Micromachines 2019, 10, 782.

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