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Pseudo Monopolar Stimulation

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000239113D
Publication Date: 2014-Oct-13
Document File: 3 page(s) / 279K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The novel contribution is a method and system for Pseudo Monopolar Stimulation, or Common Ground + X stimulation, for cochlear implants. This approach reduces facial nerve stimulation, reduces impedance of stimulation, and reduces costs.

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Title 

Pseudo Monopolar Stimulation

Abstract

The novel contribution is a method and system for Pseudo Monopolar Stimulation, or Common Ground + X stimulation, for cochlear implants.  This approach reduces facial nerve stimulation, reduces impedance of stimulation, and reduces costs.

Problem Addressed 

Related to cochlear implants, a method or system is needed to reduce facial nerve stimulation, reduce impedance of stimulation, and remove the need for a second Extracochlear Electrode (ECE) (perhaps both ECEs), hence, reduce cost.

Three currently available modes of stimulation are Monopolar, Bipolar, and Common Ground (CG).  Common ground and Bipolar were available on one model of cochlear implant; Monopolar was included with another using a distant electrode to allow the stimulation current to spread evenly.

Novelty Statement

This proposal is an extension of the previous stimulation methods, creating a synergy of the concepts.  The novel contribution is Pseudo Monopolar Stimulation.  This can also be described as "Common Ground + X" stimulation.

Description (Components, Process)

Monopolar is the description of stimulating an electrode in the cochlear to a "distant electrode".  When stimulating to a distant electrode, the current from the intra cochlea electrode spreads evenly in all directions, this allows stimulation to occur at lower power than traditional Common Ground and Bipolar.  This novel approach considers the necessary distance for an electrode.  It is proposed that using multiple intracochlear electrodes reasonably close to the stimulated electrode can behave as a distant electrode.

When stimulating on an electrode, rather than using the ECE(s) as the return electrode, the neighboring X (X= 2,3,4,5) electrodes remain open-circuit, but all other intracochlear electrodes are used as the return path.  The gap between the electrode and the return path electrodes does not need to be large in order for the current path flowing from the stimulated electrode to be similar or identical to Monopolar stimulation.

End effects occur with this stimulation pattern.  When a single or two electrodes are left at one end of the array the electrode(s) might not be suitable to use as return electrodes; the electrode(s) might stimulate nerves.  Some experimentation might be needed to deal with end effects in a simple way.

Figure 1: Monopolar Stimulation.  In this type of stimulation, the current path is between the stimulated e...