In-vitro and in-vivo measurement of the animal's middle ear acoustical response by partially implantable fiber-optic sensing system

Zoran Djinović, Robert Pavelka, Miloš Tomić, Georg Sprinzl, Hanns Plenk, Udo Losert, Helga Bergmeister, Roberto Plasenzotti

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article

10 Citations (Scopus)


The main obstacle in realization of a totally implantable hearing aid is a lack of reliable implantable microphone. In this paper we have described a potentially miniature fiber-optic vibrometer based on a modified Michelson interferometer, designed to serve as a middle-ear microphone for totally implantable cochlear- or middle-ear hearing aids. A model of the sensing system was used for in-vitro and in-vivo investigation of acoustical response of sheep's middle-ear ossicles. Surgical and implantation procedure of introducing the sensing optical fiber into the middle-ear and its aiming at the incus was investigated and described here in detail. The frequency responses of the incus was measured while a cadaver and living sheep was exposed to the sinusoidal acoustical excitation of 40-90dB SPL, in the frequency range from 100Hz to 10kHz. The amplitude of the incus vibration was found to be in the range between 10pm to 100nm, strongly depending on the frequency, with a lot of resonant peaks, corresponding mainly to the natural outer ear canal gain. The noise floor in the experiments was about 2pm/Hz1/2, but recently we have decreased it to < 0.5pm/Hz1/2, which corresponds to a minimal detectable sound level of 31-35dB(A) SPL for humans. The histological examination of temporal bones of cadaver animals and the intensity of in-vivo optical signal demonstrated that the aiming of the sensing fiber to the target has been preserved for five months after the implantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-181
Number of pages6
JournalBiosensors and Bioelectronics
Publication statusPublished - 30 Apr 2018


  • Acoustics/instrumentation
  • Animals
  • Biosensing Techniques/methods
  • Ear, Middle/physiology
  • Fiber Optic Technology/methods
  • Humans
  • Prostheses and Implants
  • Sheep
  • Sound
  • Transducers
  • Phase modulation
  • Fiber-optic sensors
  • Implantable microphone
  • Interferometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrochemistry


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