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Feasible pickup from intact ossicular chain with floating piezoelectric microphone

DOI: 10.1186/1475-925x-11-10

Keywords: Floating piezoelectric microphone, pickup, ossicular chain, cat, feasibility study

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Abstract:

Animal controlled experiment: five adult cats (eight ears) were sacrificed as the model to test the electroacoustic performance of the FPM. Three groups were studied: (1) the experiment group (on malleus): the FPM glued onto the handle of the malleus of the intact ossicular chains; (2) negative control group (in vivo): the FPM only hung into the tympanic cavity; (3) positive control group (Hy-M30): a HiFi commercial microphone placed close to the site of the experiment ear. The testing speaker played pure tones orderly ranged from 0.25 to 8.0 kHz. The FPM inside the ear and the HiFi microphone simultaneously picked up acoustic vibration which recorded as .wav files to analyze.The FPM transformed acoustic vibration sensitively and flatly as did the in vitro test across the frequencies above 2.0 kHz, whereas inefficiently below 1.0 kHz for its overloading mass. Although the HiFi microphone presented more efficiently than the FPM did, there was no significant difference at 3.0 kHz and 8.0 kHz.It is feasible to develop such an implantable FPM for future TICIs and TIHAs system on condition that the improvement of Micro Electromechanical System and piezoelectric ceramic material technology would be applied to reduce its weight and minimize its size.More and more patients with severe to profound hearing loss have benefited from using hearing devices such as hearing aids (HA) or cochlear implant (CI) to improve or restore their hearing. However, these auditory prostheses in clinical practice contain many exterior components which are not capable of being implanted into patients' bodies. In the current CI device, the microphone, speech processor, coils and battery are worn externally, typically behind the ear, as well as the microphone of most hearing aids, while the exterior components often present disable stigma, restriction to swimming and many other sports, inevitability of silence sleep (7/24 hour). There are more disadvantages of such devices, e.g. repeated inflammati

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