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Self-bending hydrogel actuation for electrode shafts in cochlear implants

Authors

  • Jan Stieghorst,

    Corresponding author
    1. Cluster of Excellence Hearing4all, Hannover, Germany
    2. BioMaterial Engineering, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany
    3. Institute for Multiphase Processes, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universitaet Hannover, Hannover, Germany
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  • Katharina Tegtmeier,

    1. Cluster of Excellence Hearing4all, Hannover, Germany
    2. BioMaterial Engineering, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany
    3. Institute for Multiphase Processes, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universitaet Hannover, Hannover, Germany
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  • Pooyan Aliuos,

    1. Cluster of Excellence Hearing4all, Hannover, Germany
    2. BioMaterial Engineering, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany
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  • Holger Zernetsch,

    1. Institute for Multiphase Processes, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universitaet Hannover, Hannover, Germany
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  • Birgit Glasmacher,

    1. Institute for Multiphase Processes, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universitaet Hannover, Hannover, Germany
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  • Theodor Doll

    1. Cluster of Excellence Hearing4all, Hannover, Germany
    2. BioMaterial Engineering, Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany
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Abstract

A self-bending electrode shaft for application in cochlear implants (CI) is presented. It is desired to reduce the distance between the electrode contacts and nerve cells in the modiolus of the inner ear. Therefore a coextrusion and overmolding device to fabricate a novel electrode shaft consisting of an eccentrically positioned hydrogel swelling actuator was established. Finite-element-analysis (FEA) was performed to analyse the self-bending effect in relationship to the applied hydrostatic pressure. The mechanical actuation of a fabricated electrode shaft was tested in vitro by injection of water into the hydrogel. Curving of the electrode shaft was observed. Osmotic pressure in relation to the mass fraction of the swelling polymer inside the hydrogel was calculated.

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