Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

CEIT-IK4 designs a tool for operations on people with severe or profound auditory loss

12.03.2010
A team of engineers from the CEIT-IK4 technological centre and doctors from the University Hospital of Navarra have designed a new tool for operating on the inner ear with maximum precision, reducing the possibility of damage to the auditory function during the surgery.

This is the first micromanipulator specifically for operations involving cochlear and middle ear implants, of which about a hundred are carried out in this hospital annually. Taking part in developing the new tool were four engineers from CEIT and five ear, nose and throat specialists from the University Hospital of Navarra.

The new technique was presented at the XI International Symposium on Cochlear Implants, organised by the Department of otorhinolaryngology (ENT) at the University Hospital of Navarra, attended by 200 specialists from all over the world.

The micromanipulator, patented by the University of Navarra, is a surgical working tool the aim of which is to aid the surgeon in those situations involving very small dimensions and which are highly sensitive – such as the inner ear, the size of which is less than the nail of a forefinger. Working with precision in such a small space and with such a delicate structure is highly complicated.

The micromanipulator enables operating with precision in spaces of these small dimensions, working in tandem with auditory surgical microinstruments. In short, the micromanipulator is a tool for working with the inner ear in a precision manner, without affecting its function.

This micromanipulator has two parts. One of these is anchored to the temporal bone of the patient, its function being to act as support for a series of elements which go together with the milling tool. The surgeon makes a hole in the temporal bone with this tool, in order to gain access to the inner ear. In the centre of this second series of elements is a small metallic part the behaviour of which is flexible and this device provides the surgeon with greater control and precision on milling, making up for the vibrations of the hand itself.
New phase in inner ear surgery
The design of the micromanipulator is the beginning of a new era in inner ear surgery and a new line of research. To date, the inner ear has meant a barrier for the surgeon, as has happened in other stages of medical history – when, for example, the heart was considered an untouchable organ as it was thought that death would ensue. The same occurred with the inner ear – it could not be accesses because it was thought that its functioning would be damaged. In recent years, however, especially with cochlear implants, they have learnt how to gain access to the inner ear without these operations necessarily causing damage.
Amongst the main advantages of the micromanipulator is its enhanced precision in working, as it enables operating on the inner ear in a more exact manner, opening up a series of possibilities depending on techniques already developed for the treatment of illnesses that can affect this zone of the auditory system.

This is why the applications of the micromanipulator are currently focused on cochlear implants and auditory implants of the middle ear. But, in the future, the technique could be used for introducing stem cells in order to regenerate the inner ear and secrete certain pharmaceutical drugs that provide the possibility of curing diseases that may arise in the zone.

Joint working between University Hospital of Navarra and CEIT
The development of the micromanipulator is the first joint venture between ear, nose and throat specialists at the University Hospital and researchers at CEIT, the first in a series with which they wish to continue. The medics set out their requirements and the engineers then seek and devise solutions and tools that enable the former to resolve their problems. For the engineers the start of this venture was curious because they had to learn the anatomy and physiology of the ear in order to know the terrain in which they were moving so as to develop these instruments.

As regards extending the use of this surgical tool to other medical centres, the specialists confirmed that it is currently being validated at other European hospitals.

Oihane Lakar | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.elhuyar.com

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht Rutgers researchers develop automated robotic device for faster blood testing
14.06.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht Speech comprehension with a cochlear implant
04.06.2018 | Universität zu Lübeck

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

Im Focus: Photoexcited graphene puzzle solved

A boost for graphene-based light detectors

Light detection and control lies at the heart of many modern device applications, such as smartphone cameras. Using graphene as a light-sensitive material for...

Im Focus: Water is not the same as water

Water molecules exist in two different forms with almost identical physical properties. For the first time, researchers have succeeded in separating the two forms to show that they can exhibit different chemical reactivities. These results were reported by researchers from the University of Basel and their colleagues in Hamburg in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

From a chemical perspective, water is a molecule in which a single oxygen atom is linked to two hydrogen atoms. It is less well known that water exists in two...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Novel method for investigating pore geometry in rocks

18.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Diamond watch components

18.06.2018 | Process Engineering

New type of photosynthesis discovered

18.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>