Fine wire in stainless steel and precious metals
Our medical-grade wire-based components play a vital part in treating hearing disorders, with Exera® wires regularly used in applications such as cochlear and middle ear implants and bone conduction systems.
For cochlear implants, precious metals such as platinum-iridium (Ptlr) and telemetry coils are used; this type of alloy maximizes fatigue strength which is critical in implant devices.
These intricate devices stimulate the damaged portions of the inner ear, delivering sound signals to the brain. A cochlear implant consists of:
Sound energy is received by the microphone, which transmits it to the speech processor. Here, sound energy is filtered and converted into a numerical code. This code is transferred back to the headpiece cord, where it is transmitted by radio frequencies to the internal receiver.
The internal receiver is connected to the electrode planted inside the cochlea. When the electrodes receive signals, they stimulate the auditory nerves directly, without passing through the damaged portion of the ear. The cochlear nerve fibers are stimulated – and sound is perceived.
Encased within the silicone of the electrode array are high-quality Exera® wires, which are alloys of platinum and iridium.
This implant uses mechanical energy impulses to stimulate the nerves of the inner ear. A comparatively recent development within hearing stimulation, the middle ear implant consists of two parts: the processor, and a surgically-placed inner.
The processor transmits sound energy to the inner part of the device, where a receiver picks up sound. These sound signals are transmitted, via a tightly coiled metal wire, to the implant, which is attached to the bones of the middle ear.
Alleima provides the metal wire, indrawn condition, annealed or coated with a suitable polymer or PTFE coating.
These systems transmit sound and stimulate acoustic signals via bone conduction. Consisting of a titanium implant, an abutment and a sound processor, a bone conducting system works like a conventional hearing aid in that sound waves are detected by a processor. But unlike a conventional hearing aid, sound waves are transmitted to the inner ear through skull bone vibrations.