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A Laboratory Study on a Capacitive Displacement Sensor as an Implant Microphone in Totally Implant Cochlear Hearing Aid Systems

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5 Author(s)
Ping Huang ; Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, 44106. phone: 216-269-7505; fax: 215-494-1594; e-mail: ; Jun Guo ; Cliff A. Megerian ; Darrin J. Young
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A totally implant cochlear hearing aids system, integrating an implant microphone, interface electronics, a speech processor, a stimulator, and cochlear electrodes, can overcome the uncomfortable, inconvenient, and stigma problems associated with the conventional and semi-implantable hearing aids. This paper presents a laboratory feasibility study on the use of an electret condenser microphone (ECM) displacement sensor, serving as an implant microphone, and combined with a spring coupler to directly sense the umbo acoustic vibration. The umbo vibration characteristics were extracted from literature to determine the coupler and sensor requirements. A laboratory model was built to simulate the vibration source and experimentally study the transmission coefficient. Experimental data demonstrate that by using a 5 N/m stiffness spring, the umbo vibration amplitude as high as 67% can be transmitted to the sensor. Measurement of the sensor system on the temporal bone was also made. The minimum detectable sound pressure level (SPL) at 1 kHz is 41 and 67 dB for laboratory and 38 and 64 dB for temporal bone measurement for 1 and 388 Hz bandwidth, respectively. Better performance was achieved in a higher frequency. Results and analysis of this study can be used as a guideline for the future design of displacement sensors as implant microphones.

Published in:

2007 29th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society

Date of Conference:

22-26 Aug. 2007