Sabine Reinfeldt´s lecture for associate professorship on October 9

Welcome to Sabine Reinfeldt´s lecture for associate professorship on October 9

Title: Developments in bone conduction hearing devices – a review and new clinical results
Time: Friday October 9, at 13.15-14.15
Location: Room EF, EDIT building, Hörsalsvägen 11

Abstract

Sound is not only perceived through soundwaves entering the ear-canal, passing through the middle ear to the inner ear – it can also be heard via bone conduction. To hear via vibrations that are transmitted through the skull bone is called bone conduction hearing. This type of sound transmission is used in several applications today, for instance in hearing aids. Patients with hearing losses caused by impairments in the outer or middle ear can benefit from a hearing aid that gives vibrations that bypass the impaired area and are transmitted directly to the inner ear. The breakthrough of bone conduction devices (BCDs) came in the late 1970’s, when direct bone conduction stimulation was accomplished with the bone anchored hearing aid (BAHA). Previously, it was only possible to stimulate with vibrations through the skin with a high static pressure and suffering from soft tissue attenuation. The BAHA has become a great success with around 200 000 patients all over the world. Lately, implantable BCDs are being developed, basically of two types: (1) Passive transcutaneous BCDs, which have implanted magnets and an external transducer giving vibrations through the skin, and (2) active transcutaneous BCDs, having implanted transducers giving direct bone conduction stimulation. To provide guidance for the patients among all of these devices, it is important to compare the devices and find proper inclusion criteria.

In this seminar, Sabine Reinfeldt will give a review of the BCDs available today, make a comparison between them using both published audiological data and objective measures of the devices, and explain some of the challenges of implantable BCDs. Finally, she will focus on one active transcutaneous BCD, called the Bone Conduction Implant (BCI) which was developed in her research group, and which is now in clinical trials with 11 patients so far.