Objectives and Hypothesis: This study has the specific aim of evaluating the insertion characteristics of a new cochlear implant electrode. Techniques for evaluation of fluoroscopic real time mechanical insertion dynamics, histologic electrode position and trauma results, hydraulic force, and mechanical insertion forces are presented. In addition, this study should serve to present a novel model for cochlear implant electrode insertion evaluations.
Study Design: Prospective analysis using a series of analytical techniques.
Methods: All studies are conducted in fixed cadaveric temporal bones. Real time fluoroscopic insertion evaluations, histologic evaluations for trauma and electrode position in embedded bones, hydraulic measures, and mechanical intracochlear force measurements are conducted with a current and new electrode.
Results: The Contour Advance electrode provides a more reliable and less traumatic insertion when deployed with the Advance Off Stylet technique. This is largely because of a reduction in intracochlear outer wall force generation. Fluoroscopic and histologic analysis reveal a smooth insertion without reliance on cochlear outer wall contact. No hydraulic forces were detected when measured from the superior semicircular canal ampulla.
Conclusion: The model used for this study provides valuable information to cochlear implant surgeons and design engineers. The Contour Advance electrode, inserted with the Advance Off Stylet technique, represents an improvement over the Contour electrode inserted with the standard insertion technique.