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Implantable Hearing Systems

Implantable Hearing Systems

Situated at one of the top clinics for both active middle ear implants (AMEI) and cochlea implants (CI), the ERCD has been at the forefront of new advances in the field of active implantable hearing systems for more than two decades. The ERCD is continually engaged in fundamental research as well as cooperative research and development with the leading tech companies in implantable hearing solutions. Since 2001, we have been developing highly miniaturized, piezo-based active components for implantation into the incudostapedial joint gap. The first of these is an implantable microphone, with potential use in fully implantable CIs or AMEIs. These sensors are simply inserted into the opened joint between incus and stapes, held in place only by the pretension of the ossicular chain and the resulting friction. This unique position and manner of implantation provides several distinct advantages over other approaches (such as externally worn or subcutaneously implanted microphones), most prominently a quick and minimally invasive surgery, a natural hearing sensation, and an acoustic decoupling from body noise. Based on this technology, we are currently also researching a two-membrane piezo transducer that can be used as both sensor and actuator at the same time. This highly advanced system is only about 0.6mm in height. Using active compensation based on adaptive filtering for feedback control, the device has been shown to provide more than 30 dB functional gain.

Our research on these topics has been presented at various national and international conferences and published in peer reviewed journals.


  • Eßinger, T. M., Koch, M., Bornitz, M., & Zahnert, T. (2016). Adaptive Mechanical Stabilization of a Free-Floating Fully Implantable Hearing Aid. Otology & Neurotology: Official Publication of the American Otological Society, American Neurotology Society [and] European Academy of Otology and Neurotology, 37(9), e377-383.
  • Koch, Martin, Essinger, T. M., Stoppe, T., Lasurashvili, N., Bornitz, M., & Zahnert, T. (2016). Fully implantable hearing aid in the incudostapedial joint gap. Hear Res, 340, 169–178.
  • Koch, Martin, Eßinger, T. M., Bornitz, M., & Zahnert, T. (2014). Examination of a mechanical amplifier in the incudostapedial joint gap: FEM simulation and physical model. Sensors (Basel), 14(8), 14356–14374.
  • Koch, M., Seidler, H., Hellmuth, A., Bornitz, M., Lasurashvili, N., & Zahnert, T. (2013). Influence of the middle ear anatomy on the performance of a membrane sensor in the incudostapedial joint gap. Hear Res, 301, 35–43.
  • Bornitz, M., & Zahnert, T. (2013). Aspekte zur Ankopplung implantierbarer Aktoren. Proceedings Der 16. Jahrestagung Der Deutschen Gesellschaft Für Audiologie, 1–6. PDF
  • Koch, Martin, Hellmuth, A., Bornitz, M., Seidler, H., & Zahnert, T. (2012). Vorhersage der Empfindlichkeit eines implantierten Membransensors für Cochlea-Implantate in der Gehörknöchelchenkette. In J. Füssel, E. Koch, H. Malberg, & W. Vonau (Eds.), Dresdner Beiträge zur Medizintechnik, 4. Dresdner Medizintechnik Symposium (Vol. 14, pp. 83–86). TUDpress, Dresden.
  • Bornitz, M., Hofmann, G., Hüttenbrink, K.-B., Seidler, H., & Zahnert, T. (2010). Implantierbarer Hörgeräteteil (Patent No. DE102004038078B4).
  • Bornitz, M., Hardtke, H.-J., & Zahnert, T. (2010). Evaluation of implantable actuators by means of a middle ear simulation model. Hearing Research, 263(1–2), 145–151.