Initial Clinical Experience With a Totally Implantable Cochlear Implant Research Device

from Otology & Neurotology

Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness and issues associated with a research totally implantable cochlear implant (TIKI).

Study Design: Limited patient trial.

Setting: Tertiary referral center.

Patients: Three adult human subjects with severe-to-profound sensorineural hearing loss.

Interventions: Subjects were implanted with a research TIKI developed by Cochlear Limited and the Co-operative Research Centre for Cochlear Implant and Hearing Aid Innovation. The TIKI has a lithium ion rechargeable battery, a package-mounted internal microphone, and sound-processing electronics that enable the use of “invisible hearing” without the use of an external device. The TIKI also functions with an external ESPrit 3G sound processor as a conventional cochlear implant. The standard surgical technique was modified to accommodate the larger device package. Postoperatively, subjects used TIKI in both invisible hearing and the conventional ESPrit 3G modes.

Main Outcome Measures: Device use was recorded in both invisible hearing and ESPrit 3G listening modes. Performance of the internal battery and microphone was assessed over time. Psychophysical MAP data were collected, and speech perception was measured at 1, 3, 6, and 12 months postoperatively in both listening modes.

Results: There were no surgical or postoperative complications. All subjects use both invisible hearing and conventional ESPrit 3G modes. Speech perception outcomes for all patients showed improvement from preoperative scores. As a consequence of the reduced sensitivity of the implanted microphone, speech perception results using the invisible hearing mode were significantly lower than the ESPrit 3G mode. Subjects reported some body noise interference that limited use of the invisible hearing mode; however, all continue to use the invisible hearing mode on a limited daily basis. The rechargeable battery functioned well, with a cycle time indicating the low-power implant design is effective and will deliver long battery life.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates that the challenges in developing a safe and effective TIKI can be overcome. Three subjects implanted with the research TIKI all reported benefit from routine use. For each subject, hearing outcomes using invisible hearing mode were not as good as when using the external ESPrit 3G sound processor in the conventional mode.

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Posted on January 29, 2008, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. I have a baby with CI and I wish the researcher can find a very reliable way to do totally implanted CI, because I think people need hearing always and in each condition.
    a mother

  2. I been fitted with a cochlear implant a for about a year and still cant really enjoy music will this new implantable one improve the sound quality and able people to hear music.

  3. Hello, I’m a CI user myself and I REALLY wished that the Invisible CI was available by now.

    This is what the Article said:

    “Results: There were no surgical or postoperative complications. All subjects use both invisible hearing and conventional ESPrit 3G modes. Speech perception outcomes for all patients showed improvement from preoperative scores. As a consequence of the reduced sensitivity of the implanted microphone, speech perception results using the invisible hearing mode were significantly lower than the ESPrit 3G mode. Subjects reported some body noise interference that limited use of the invisible hearing mode; however, all continue to use the invisible hearing mode on a limited daily basis. The rechargeable battery functioned well, with a cycle time indicating the low-power implant design is effective and will deliver long battery life.
    Conclusion: This study demonstrates that the challenges in developing a safe and effective TIKI can be overcome. Three subjects implanted with the research TIKI all reported benefit from routine use. For each subject, hearing outcomes using invisible hearing mode were not as good as when using the external ESPrit 3G sound processor in the conventional mode.”

    Okay, and why not just give them a small external microphone that’s compatible with the Invisible mode? Instead of ESPrit 3 G? Hmm?

    • I feel that we are placing to much hope in to the development of a completely internal implant being released in our lifetime. I agree with ” Niloofar” I have a son who has bilateral implants and it would be amazing if he could swim, bathe, sleep and have sound during these activities. But the fact that he can have sound all of the other time is a modern day miracle and we are so thankful to all the people putting in endless hours of research!

    • I was implanted 2 years ago & am just now beginning to “get” music.Patience is the biggest challenge for us, there are things I want to improve too but there is no time limit with a CI things are always changing and improving.

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