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Fabrication and evaluation of an improved polymer-based cochlear electrode array for atraumatic insertion.

Gwon, Tae Mok; Min, Kyou Sik; Kim, Jin Ho; Oh, Seung Ha; Lee, Ho Sun; Park, Min-Hyun; Kim, Sung June.
Biomed Microdevices; 17(2): 32, 2015 Apr.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25681972
An atraumatic cochlear electrode array has become indispensable to high-performance cochlear implants such as electric acoustic stimulation (EAS), wherein the preservation of residual hearing is significant. For an atraumatic implantation, we propose and demonstrate a new improved design of a cochlear electrode array based on liquid crystal polymer (LCP), which can be fabricated by precise batch processes and a thermal lamination process, in contrast to conventional wire-based cochlear electrode arrays. Using a thin-film process of LCP-film-mounted silicon wafer and thermal press lamination, we devise a multi-layered structure with variable layers of LCP films to achieve a sufficient degree of basal rigidity and a flexible tip. A peripheral blind via and self-aligned silicone elastomer molding process can reduce the width of the array. Measuring the insertion and extraction forces in a human scala tympani model, we investigate five human temporal bone insertion trials and record electrically evoked auditory brainstem responses (EABR) acutely in a guinea pig model. The diameters of the finalized electrode arrays are 0.3 mm (tip) and 0.75 mm (base). The insertion force with a displacement of 8 mm from a round window and the maximum extraction force are 2.4 mN and 34.0 mN, respectively. The electrode arrays can be inserted from 360° to 630° without trauma at the basal turn. The EABR data confirm the efficacy of the array. A new design of LCP-based cochlear electrode array for atraumatic implantation is fabricated. Verification indicates that foretells the development of an atraumatic cochlear electrode array and clinical implant.