High-Density Liquid Crystal Polymer Cochlear Electrodes

Period of Performance: 09/09/2002 - 09/08/2003

$400K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Advanced Cochlear Systems, Inc.
1429 NW Gilman Blvd; Suite 265
Snoqualmie, WA 98065
Principal Investigator

Abstract

DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): In this project, high-density cochlear electrode arrays will be fabricated utilizing liquid crystal polymer (LCP) a new electronic substrate material with mechanical and electrical properties potentially well suited for advanced array fabrication and implantation. Advanced multi-layer circuit fabrication techniques incorporating blind and through-hole UV laser drilled micro-via arrays, will be utilized, increasing the number of channels and density over current generation electrodes. These arrays will exhibit significantly improved performance over current generation electrode arrays, which are made using laborious hand fabrication techniques and have limited numbers of channels. Recent developments in processor and implantation techniques demonstrate that field steering methods combined with closer placement of the array to the modilar wall in the cochlea can reduce channel interaction, motivating increasing the number of independent channels in such devices to improve performance. These arrays will support advanced processing strategies including field steering techniques and parallel, high rate, phase coherent stimulation being developed by Advanced Cochlear Systems. The new arrays combined with new processing technologies and greater pulse delivery rates made possible by field control and electrode placement may permit the delivery of two to three orders of magnitude greater information than is provided by available cochlear implant systems.