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unilogo University of Stuttgart
Institute of Engineering and Computational Mechanics



Computer simulation of middle ear prosthesis

Project Description

The aim of the project is investigation of scientific fundamentals for development and improvement of passive and active middle ear implants using optimization of the frequency dependent transfer behavior between sound pressure and the mechanical motions of the inner ear.

The description of the motion of normal and reconstructed ear are based on three-dimensional mechanical models (Multibody Systems, Elastic Multibody Systems, Finite Element Systems). They can describe realistically the spatial situation in the middle ear as well as the spatial motion of the ossicles and implants.

The parameters of the models are estimated by theoretical considerations and measurements on the entire system. An efficient way is the measurement on partial systems. A main item is the identification of coupling parameters between implant and ossicle. Therefore a test stand is built to investigate the separated system by measurements. Variations of prestress and intermediate matierial are done.

For optimization of the sound transfer with the established models, performance criteria based on the behavior of the normal ear are used. These kriteria include quality as well as quanity of the sound transfer. Possible design variables are the parameters of the implants, geometrical situation of insertion and intermediate materials between implants and ossicles and structure of the remaining ossicles.

Figure at the right: Model of the middle ear with passive incus prosthesis

one dimensional model of an actuator of an active (mechatronical) prosthesis

Example of an active (mechatronical) prosthesis (from Suzuki et al)

Animated motion

Model of the middle ear, 11 degrees of freedom


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  • Eiber, A.: Modelling of the Human Middle Ear. In: Beneken, J.; Faust, U. (eds.): Technology and Health Care, Proc. Second European Conference on Engineering and Medicine. Amsterdam: Elsevier, S. 162 - 163, 1993.
  • Eiber, A.: Transfer of Sound Waves through the Human Middle Ear. Proc. EUROMECH Colloquium 295 Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. Vesnitsky, A.I.; Erofeyev, V. I.(eds.): Wave Processes in Machinery and Structures. Nizhny Novgorod: Scientific Society of Mechanical Engineers of Nizhny Novgorod, 1994.
  • Eiber, A.; Ondrásková, I.: An Active Implant in the Human Middle Ear. Proceedings of the 5th International Conference 'Biomechanics of Man', Benesov, Tschechien. Prague: Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, S. 21 - 24, 1994.
  • Eiber, A.; Kauf, A.: Berechnete Verschiebungen der Mittelohrknochen unter statischer Belastung. HNO, 42: S. 754 - 759, 1994.
  • Eiber, A.; Kauf, A.: Dynamics of Implants for the Human Middle Ear. Proc. of the 3rd Intern. Conference "Simulations in Biomedicine". Southampton: Computational Mechanics Publications, S. 579-585, 1995.
  • Eiber, A.; Kauf, A.; Schiehlen, W.: Biomechanics of the Middle Ear. Proc. of the 9th World Congress of IFTOMM. S. 2415-2419. Milano: 1995.
  • Eiber, A.: Mechatronical Devices for Reconstruction of Hearing. Proc. 4th German/Polish workshop Berlin Bogacz, R.; Ostermeyer, G.P.; Popp, K. (eds.). S.75-85. Warsaw: IPPT, Polish Academy of Sciences, 1996.
  • Eiber, A.; Schiehlen, W.: Reconstruction of Hearing by Mechatronical Devices. Robotics and Autonomous Systems 19, S. 199-204, 1996.
  • Eiber, A.; Kauf, A.; Maassen, M.M.; Burkhardt, C.; Rodrigues, J.; Zenner, H.-P.: Erste Vergleiche von Laservibrometriemessung und Computersimulation. HNO, Nr. 45, 1997, S. 538-544.
  • Kauf, A.: Dynamik des Mittelohrs, VDI- Verlag, Düsseldorf, VDI-Zeitschriften, Reihe 17, 1997.
  • Hocke, T.; Eiber, A.; Pethe, J.; v. Specht, H.; Vorwerk, U.; Begall, K.: Zur Feinstruktur von Multifrequenztympanogrammen bei normaler Mittelohrfunktion. Zeitschrift für Audiologie 1 (1998), S. 38-46.
  • Eiber, A.; Freitag, H.-G.; Burkhardt C.; Hemmert W; Maassen M.; Rodriguez Jorge, J.; Zenner, H.-P.: Dynamics of Middle Ear Prostheses - Simulations and Measurements. Audiol Neurootol 1999: 4:178-184.
  • Eiber, A.; Freitag, H.-G.: Untersuchungen zu einem aktiven Mittelohrimplantat. Forschungsbericht FB-37. Stuttgart: Universität, Institut B für Mechanik, 1999.
  • Eiber, A.; Freitag, H.-G.: Description of Sound Transfer through the Middle Ear. Gongalves, P.B. et al (eds): Applied Mechanics in The Americas, Volume 6, p. 49-52. Rio de Janeiro: Brazilian Society of Mechanical Sciences, 1999.
  • Eiber, A.; Freitag, H.-G.: Mechanical Aspects of Hearing. Proc. of Int. Symposium Dynamic Problems in Mechanics and Mechatronics. Hofer, E.; Weber, H.I.; Pamplona, D. (eds): Ulm, Universität, 1999.
  • Eiber, A.; Freitag, H.-G.: On Simulation Models in Otology. Proceedings of EUROMECH Colloquium 404 Lisboa, Portugal. Ambrosio, J.C.; Schiehlen, W.(eds): Advances in Computational Multibody Dynamics. Lisboa: Instituto Superior Technico, 1999, p. 729 -747.
  • Eiber, A.; Freitag, H.-G.: Dynamics of Reconstructed Middle Ears. Proceedings of Symposium on Recent Developments in Auditory Mechanics, Sendai, Japan. Wada et al. (eds). Singapore: World Scientific Publishing, 2000. ISBN 981-02-4170-4.
  • Eiber, A.; Freitag, H.-G.: Middle Ear Reconstructions - A Mechanical View. Machine Dynamics Problems. Vol. 24, No. 1, 2000. ISBN 0239-7730.
  • Eiber, A.; Freitag, H.-G., Hocke, T.: On the relationship between MFT-Patterns and the Dynamical Behavior of the Middle Ear. In: The Function and Mechanics of Normal, Diseased and Reconstructed Middle Ears. Ed. Rosowski, J. J.; Merchant S. N.; Kugler Publications, The Hague, The Netherlands. 2000. ISBN 90 6299 181 5.
  • Eiber, A.; Freitag, H.-G.; Schimanski, G.; Zenner, H. P.: On the Coupling of Prostheses to the Middle Ear Structure and its Influence on Sound Transfer. In: The Function and Mechanics of Normal, Diseased and Reconstructed Middle Ears. Ed. Rosowski, J. J.; Merchant S. N.; Kugler Publications, The Hague, The Netherlands. 2000. ISBN 90 6299 181 5.
  • Eiber, A.; Freitag, H.-G.: Mechanical Models of the Middle Ear and its Applications. European Congress of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, EUFOS 2000, Berlin, 13.-18.5.2000. Abstract in: Laryngo-Rhino-Otologie, 1 Supplement, 79. Jahrgang, Mai 2000, S. 67.
  • Freitag, H.-G.; Eiber, A.; Zenner, H. P.; Schiehlen, W. O.: Simulation und Optimierung von Mittelohrprothesen, Projektabschnitt I. Zwischenbericht ZB-121. Stuttgart: Universität, Institut B für Mechanik, 2000.

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