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Sprung electrode contacts

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000210945D
Publication Date: 2011-Sep-18
Document File: 3 page(s) / 222K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The closer the electrode contacts are to the target nerves, the better the efficiency of the stimulation and the lower the stimulation spread of excitation. It is desirable to move the electrode contacts as close to the target nerves as possible.

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Title 

Sprung electrode contacts

Background

A cochlear implant stimulating assembly comprises an intra-cochlear region configured to be implanted in the recipient’s cochlea and has disposed thereon an array of electrode contacts.

     

In certain embodiments, stimulating assembly is configured to adopt a curved configuration after implantation into the recipient’s cochlea.  To achieve this, in certain embodiments, stimulating assembly is pre-curved to the same general curvature of a cochlea.  Such embodiments of stimulating assembly, sometimes referred to as perimodiolar stimulating assemblies,  are typically held straight by, for example, a stiffening stylet which is removed during implantation so that the stimulating assembly may adopt its curved configuration when in the cochlea. 

Problem Addressed 

The closer the electrode contacts are to the target nerves, the better the efficiency of the stimulation and the lower the stimulation spread of excitation. It is desirable to move the electrode contacts as close to the target nerves as possible.

Description (Components, Process)

In the design of a stylet and stimulating assembly, electrode contacts are held in place until insertion is complete and the stylet is removed. (Figure 1A)  Removal of the stylet releases the stimulating electrodes, allowing them to spring outward toward the intended stimulation target in order to improve the spatial resolution of delivered neuro-stimulation. (Figure 1B)

Figure 1: Styl...