Coupling the Vibrant Soundbridge with the Round-Window-Soft-Coupler – experiments on transmission quality
23 April 2019 (online)
Coupling the Vibrant Soundbridge (VSB, Med-EL, Innsbruck, Austria) to the round window has extended the indication to combined hearing loss due to middle ear malformation or previous surgery. Finding the optimal transmission of energy within a limited space stays challenging. The current Round-Window-Soft-Coupler (RW-Soft-Coupler) was compared to its previous version (Round-Window-Coupler [RW-Coupler]) in terms of handling and transmission Quality.
We performed measurements in 10 human temporal bones. The floating mass transducer (FMT) was stimulated with a multisine signal up to 6 kHz and 20 to 50 mV of voltage, respectively. The FMT was coupled with the RW-Coupler and with the RW-Soft-Coupler afterwards. The displacement of the stapes footplate was objectified via Laser Doppler vibrometer (LDV) and was seen as measure of transmission function.
The RW-Soft-Coupler offers advantages over its previous version in terms of handling and surgical effort due to the compact dimensions. Moreover, our measurements show a better transmission function within the entire frequency range.
Coupling the Vibrant Soundbridge to the round window provides an important alternative in surgical hearing rehabilitation under certain anatomic conditions. The RW-Soft-Coupler clearly shows advantages compared to its previous version.