News Column

Patent Issued for Securing an Implanted Medical Device in a Patient

May 21, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Journal of Engineering -- Cochlear Limited (University, NSW, AU) has been issued patent number 8718795, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews editors.

The patent's inventor is Gibson, Peter (South Coogee, AU).

This patent was filed on April 10, 2009 and was published online on May 6, 2014.

From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: "The present invention relates to an implantable device and, in particular, to securing an implantable tissue-stimulating device in a recipient.

"Hearing loss, which may be due to many different causes, is generally of two types, conductive and sensorineural. In some cases, a person may have hearing loss of both types. Conductive hearing loss occurs when the normal mechanical pathways for sound to reach the hair cells in the cochlea are impeded, for example, by damage to the ossicles. Conductive hearing loss is often addressed with conventional hearing aids which amplify sound so that acoustic information can reach the cochlea.

"In many people who are profoundly deaf, however, the reason for their deafness is sensorineural hearing loss. Sensorineural hearing loss occurs when there is damage to the inner ear or to the nerve pathways from the inner ear to the brain. Those suffering from sensorineural hearing loss are thus unable to derive suitable benefit from conventional hearing aids. As a result, hearing prostheses that deliver electrical stimulation to nerve cells of the recipient's auditory system have been developed to provide persons having sensorineural hearing loss with the ability to perceive sound. Such stimulating hearing prostheses include, for example, auditory brain stimulators and cochlear prostheses (commonly referred to as cochlear prosthetic devices, cochlear implants, cochlear devices, and the like; simply 'cochlear implants' herein.) As used herein, the recipient's auditory system includes all sensory system components that may be used to perceive a sound signal, such as hearing sensation receptors, neural pathways, including the auditory nerve and spiral ganglion, and regions of the brain used to sense sounds.

"Most sensorineural hearing loss is due to the absence or destruction of the cochlea hair cells which transduce acoustic signals into nerve impulses. It is for this purpose that cochlear implants have been developed. Cochlear implants use direct electrical stimulation of auditory nerve cells to bypass absent or defective hair cells that normally transduce acoustic vibrations into neural activity. Such devices generally use an array of electrode contacts implanted into the scala tympani of the cochlea so that the electrodes may differentially activate auditory neurons that normally encode differential pitches of sound.

"Auditory brain stimulators are used to treat a smaller number of recipients with bilateral degeneration of the auditory nerve. For such recipients, the auditory brain stimulator provides stimulation of the cochlear nucleus in the brainstem."

Supplementing the background information on this patent, VerticalNews reporters also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "In one aspect of the present invention, there is provided a stimulating lead assembly for implantation into a recipient through an opening in a reference structure in the recipient, comprising: an carrier member, having a proximal and a distal end and at least one stimulation element disposed along said carrier member; and an expandable portion being expandable from a first dimension to a second dimension, and configured to interact with the reference structure when said carrier member is implanted in the recipient and expanded to said second dimension.

"In another aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of implanting a stimulating medical device, comprising: preparing an appropriately configured opening in a reference structure of a recipient for implantation of an stimulating lead assembly comprising a carrier member and expandable portion; inserting said carrier member through said opening in the recipient; and expanding said expandable portion from a first dimension to a second dimension to interact with a portion of the reference structure to longitudinally secure said carrier member in the recipient."

For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Gibson, Peter. Securing an Implanted Medical Device in a Patient. U.S. Patent Number 8718795, filed April 10, 2009, and published online on May 6, 2014. Patent URL:

Keywords for this news article include: Surgery, Audiology, Ear Diseases, Otolaryngology, Medical Devices, Hearing Disorders, Sensation Disorders, Surgical Technology, Nervous System Diseases, Neurologic Manifestations, Sensorineural Hearing Loss.

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Source: Journal of Engineering

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