Modelling of the Human Inner Ear Anatomy and Variability for Cochlear Implant Applications

Research output: Book/ReportPh.D. thesis

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This thesis takes the biomedical engineering approach to working with and understanding the anatomy and physiology of the inner ear. The purpose is to apply the acquired knowledge in the development of implantable hearing aids.

The so-called Cochlear Implant (CI) is a fascinating technology that without underselling it provides hearing for the deaf. The technology faces a number of challenges, and a part of the solution to those is closely connected with an improved understanding of the inner ear anatomy, both with regards to the individual patient but also to the variation in the population.

The inner ear is a relatively small structure and even with modern medical scanners only the coarsest details are revealed about the specific patient anatomy. To study the anatomy it is required to work on specimens from deceased subjects scanned with for instance μCT. The anatomy is complex and presents several challenges concerning data processing and analysis.

Our approach is to describe the inner ear as a statistical shape model. The thesis covers our work with regards to data segmentation, shape characterization, development of image registration model suited for the inner ear and construction of statistical deformation models.

The thesis results in a series of applications relating to CIs. The shape model can be used by CI-manufacturers for virtual product development and testing. At the same time, it can be applied to estimate the detailed inner ear shape from a clinical patient CT scan. This opens up for tools to optimize the programming of the CI, such that the hearing restoration is improved.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationKgs. Lyngby
PublisherTechnical University of Denmark
Number of pages219
Publication statusPublished - 2016
SeriesDTU Compute PHD-2015


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