Design for an inexpensive but effective cochlear implant.
Widespread application of cochlear implants is limited by cost, especially in developing countries. In this article we present a design for a low-cost but effective cochlear implant system. The system includes a speech processor, four pairs of transmitting and receiving coils, and an electrode array with four monopolar electrodes. All implanted components are passive, reducing to a minimum the complexity of manufacture and allowing high reliability. A four-channel continuous interleaved sampling strategy is used for the speech processor. The processor and transmission link have been evaluated in tests with a subject previously implanted with the Ineraid electrode array and percutaneous connector. A prototype of the link, consisting of four pairs of transmitting and external receiving coils, was used, with the outputs of the receiving coils directed to four intracochlear electrodes through the percutaneous connector. The subject achieved speech reception scores with the prototype system that were equivalent to those achieved with a standard laboratory implementation of a continuous interleaved sampling processor with current-controlled stimuli.
Wilson, BS; Rebscher, S; Zeng, FG; Shannon, RV; Loeb, GE; Lawson, DT; Zerbi, M
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