Comparison of Different Middle Ear Prostheses in Conducting Mechanical Vibrations for Hearing Reconstruction
Currently, surgeons often reconstruct the middle ear to restore hearing with artificial prostheses that reconnect the middle ear bones that have been destroyed. This process is unpredictable and these prostheses are available in hundreds of different forms from many companies. The supervisor of this project runs one of the foremost laboratories in the world in exploring the vibration transmission properties of prostheses. Using laser Doppler vibrometry which allows measurements of miniscule vibrations, the ability of prostheses to transmit sound energy from the eardrum to the inner ear can be measured in dead human ears. In addition, an artificial mechanical model of the human ear will be constructed. Thus, the intern will test some completely novel materials for prosthesis construction and design that may surpass the efficiency of all current prostheses, and these will be tested and refined in the middle ear and middle ear model by the intern in the supervisor’s laboratory.