Integrated force sensor in a Cochlear Implant for hearing preservation surgery

Arvind N Vadivelu, Zhengyong Liu, Dinusha S Gunawardena, Bernard Chen, Hwa-Yaw Tam, Stephen O'Leary, Denny Oetomo

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Cochlear Implant is used for patients with severe hearing loss. It is a neural-prosthesis that stimulates the nerve endings within the cochlea, which is the organ of hearing. The surgical technique involves inserting the electrode array of the implant into a very small "snail-like" spiral structure. During this insertion process, the surgeon's finger tip is not able to perceive the resistance from the contact of the implant and the cochlea's internal structure, below the internal rupture threshold. This can potentially damage vital structures and result in the worsening of residual hearing and poor speech perception. Currently, there is no clinically and commercially available intra-operative force feedback system. A custom made sensor is therefore proposed, integrated within the implant to enable real-time force readings. The device will provide surgeons with the vital force feedback information related to the implants' position within the cochlea. This paper concentrates on demonstrating that the proposed sensor is capable of measuring the contact force below the rupture threshold of the cochlea's internal structure.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Cite this