|Publication number||US3882285 A|
|Publication date||May 6, 1975|
|Filing date||Oct 9, 1973|
|Priority date||Oct 9, 1973|
|Publication number||US 3882285 A, US 3882285A, US-A-3882285, US3882285 A, US3882285A|
|Inventors||Jeremy A Agnew, James A Nunley|
|Original Assignee||Vicon Instr Company|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (3), Referenced by (144), Classifications (8), Legal Events (4)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
United States Patent 1191 Nunley et al.
1451 May 6,1975
[ IMPLANTABLE HEARING AID AND METHOD OF IMPROVING HEARING  Inventors: James A. Nunley; Jeremy A. Agnew,
both of Colorado Springs, C010.
 Assignee: The Vicon Instrument Company,
Colorado Springs, C010.
 Filed: Oct. 9, 1973  Appl. No.: 404,339
 U.S. Cl. 179/107 E  Int. Cl. H04r 25/02  Field of Search 179/107 R, l E
 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 3,346,704 10/1967 Mahoney 179/107 R 3,712,962 l/l973 Epley 179/107 R 3,764,748 10/1973 Branch 179/107 E OTHER PUBLICATIONS American Academy of Ophtalmology &
Otolarynology, Course 319 Text, Oct. 1, 1966.
Primary Examiner-Ralph D. Blakeslee Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Sheridan, Ross & Fields  ABSTRACT A self-contained hearing device made of components compatible with the human body is provided which is implanted in a hollowed-out portion of the skull adjacent the ear canal. A microphone port is connected with the ear canal for receiving sound that enters the ear and transforming it to energies which are transmitted by a direct connection to the ossicular chain or to other mechanical movable portions of the middle ear. A method of improving hearing is provided wherein a parallel hearing path is provided to augment the normal hearing path.
10 Claims, 3 Drawing Figures PATENTEUHAY 61975 IMPLANTABLE HEARING AID AND METHOD OF IMPROVING HEARING BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention This invention relates to a hearing device, and more particularly to a hearing device which is totally implantable in the skull of a human being. The device provides a parallel path for sound transmittal from the ear canal to the cochlea in addition to the normal hearing path to provide improved response at the oval window, to sound entering the ear canal.
2. Description of the Prior Art Various attempts have been made to miniaturize and conceal hearing devices to make them aesthetically acceptable. In addition, attempts have been made to place hearing devices inside the ear or even implant them within the skull. U.S. Pat. No. 3, 1 70,046 to Leale, discloses a hearing device which is entirely received within the ear canal. The difficulty with such a device is that it blocks out the normal passage of sound through the ear canal so that all sound must be transmitted through the device. Furthermore, it is still partially visible when looking at the ear from the side.
A device utilizing a piezo-electric element is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,712,962 to Epley, which includes an implanted receiver and a piezo-electric element connected to the ossicular chain. The receiver is responsive to an external transmitter worn on the body of the user. Obviously, this device has the disadvantage in that the entire device is not implanted in the ear and that many extraneous sounds may be transmitted to the receiver which distort the signal received by the ear.
A totally implantable hearing device and method for implanting the same is shown in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,346,704 and 3,557,775, respectively, both to Mahoney. In these hearing devices, the microphone is located just under the skin behind the ear for receiving signals which are transmitted by means of a speaker tube to the middle ear where signals are transmitted by the round or oval window to the cochlea. With the microphone tube located just under the skin, there is a possibility of distortion of the sound and also, due to the position of the microphone behind the ear, all sound may not reach it. In addition, the sounds received would not necessarily be the same as those passing through the ear canal causing distortion and confusion of sound transmitted both through the ear canal and through the hearing device to the cochlea, resulting in a garbled and possibly highly unintelligible sound sensed by the user. Furthermore, the device depends upon the transformation of sound waves to mechanical movements which may or may not be in phase with sounds coming into the ear canal.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In this invention, a novel method and apparatus for improving defective hearing has been provided wherein a self-contained miniature hearing device having a transducer, such as a microphone with a microphone port positionable in the ear canal, an amplifier and a transmitter which provides a mechanical response to the sound received by the microphone, is implanted in the skull just behind the ear with the microphone port positioned in the ear canal and the mechanical response means connected between the transmitter and mechanical drive structure within the ear. Thus, some hearing can be obtained in the normal manner, if a total hearing loss is not present, and this can be supplemented by a parallel path provided by the implanted unit wherein sound is received in the ear canal and amplified by the hearing aid device andconverted to a mechanical response which is connected to a mechanical drive structure in the ear. As used throughout the specification and claims herein, the term mechanical drive structure within the ear includes all movable elements of the ear, including the ear drum, all parts of the ossicular chain, and the oval window; and the term parallel path refers to a path providing an alternate route for sound to travel along at least a portion of the normal route of sound travel from the ear canal to the oval window and is not limited to a geometrically parallel arrangement.
In a preferred embodiment of the invention, the transmitter includes a piezo-electric crystal connected to one end of a rod which is moved by the piezoelectric crystal in response to sound waves picked up by the receiver, with the other end of the rod being connected to the ossicular chain, preferably to the stapes. This attachment can be made in any medically suitable manner.
A distinct advantage of this invention is that the rod can be connected to different portions along the mechanical drive structure of the ear, depending upon the particular hearing defect of the person on which it is to be used. While the stapes is believed to be the most practical place to connect the wire, it could be connected to other portions of the chain, or, if the ossicular chain is entirely defective, it can be attached directly to the oval window.
Additional advantages of this invention will become apparent from the description which follows, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a fragmentary section through a portion of a human skull adjacent the ear showing the location of the implantable hearing aid of this invention within the skull;
FIG. 2 is an enlarged longitudinal section through the implantable hearing aid of FIG. 1 showing further details of construction; and
FIG. 3 is a circuit diagram which can be used in the hearing aid of FIGS. 1 and 2.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT In accordance with this invention, an implantable hearing device H is implanted in the skull 2 in a recess 4 formed adjacent an ear canal 6. To accomplish this, the ear 8 is bent forward and an incision (not shown) made therebehind to expose the skull 2 whereupon it is hollowed-out to form the recess 4 and receive hearing device H which is made of a material which is compatible with the human body as is well understood in the art. Conveniently, the hearing device H includes a housing 10 which contains a transducer, such as a microphone, an amplifier and a transmitter. As best seen in FIG. 2, housing 10 includes three compartments l2, l4 and 16, as shown. Conveniently, a microphone can be placed in compartment 12, an amplifier circuit in compartment 14 and a source of power, such as a battery, in compartment 16, after which housing 10 can be closed by lid 18 sealed thereto by suitable means. Conveniently, compartment 12 has a microphone port 20 which, as shown in FIG. 1, is connected to ear canal 6 by means of a tube 22 so that the hearing device H receives all audio signals as they enter the ear.
As described more fully below, the audio signal entering through tube 22 and port 20 is transmitted by a microphone in compartment 12 to an amplifier circuit in compartment 14 where the signal is amplified and used to power a piezo-electric crystal 24 which conveniently is mounted on a metal disc 26 connected to the end of housing 10, as by a silicon rubber mounting 28. Thus, the signal causes movements of crystal 24 in response to the audio signal received by the microphone causing longitudinal movement of an elongated rigid element such as a metal wire or rod 30 which moves in response to the signal and has an outer end connected to a portion of the mechanical drive structure within the ear, such as the ossicular chain C. By this means, the ossicular chain will be caused to move or vibrate in response to movement of the piezo-electric crystal and rod 30 and, therefore, transmit this response to the oval window 32 to provide suitable responses in the cochlea. Other configurations can be used and certain modifications may be desirable for specific applications.
As is well known in the art, the ossicular chain C comprises a malleus 34, which normally moves in response to the tympanic membrane or car drum 36. The malleus is in turn connected to the incus 38 which is connected to the stapes 40 which causes movement of the oval window 32. At present, it is believed that the device will operate more satisfactorily if wire 30 extends to the stapes 40, but it should be understood that the wire could be connected to any other portion of the ossicular chain C, or to the ear drum 36 or the oval window 32, depending upon the particular condition and problem causing deficiency in the hearing of the user.
From the arrangement shown, it is apparent that by inserting hearing device H in the position shown, a parallel path of sound transmittal is provided in addition to the normal hearing path. Thus, the hearing device does not interfere with normal hearing, but can be used to supplement and amplify the response so that the response perceived by the user is as nearly normal as is possible.
A typical circuit for hearing device H is shown in FIG. 3, but it will be understood that various other circuits can be used and certain modifications may be desirable for particular applications. In the present circuit, a low current gain microphone 42 having a resistance of 1K to K ohms can be used. Conveniently, capacitor C l and C2 are of l mf having a low frequency response. C3 is a 0.01 mf type with a high frequency roll off, and C4 is a mf decoupling capacitor. R1 is a 470K ohm feed-back resistor, whereas R2 is a 100K ohm idle current set resistor. R3 is a 5K ohm resistor for volume control purposes. Conveniently, battery 44 is used as the power source. In some applications this battery may be a 1.5 volt mercury battery. Periodically it may be necessary to make an incision behind ear 8 and remove the hearing device H to replace power source 44 in compartment 16. After replacement, of course, the hearing device can be remounted in recess 4 as shown in FIG. 1. Some replacements may be avoided by use of rechargeable power sources.
From the foregoing, the advantages of this invention are readily apparent. A hearing device has been provided which is completely self-contained and can be implanted in the skull of the user so that there are no cosmetic drawbacks, as the device will be completely hidden. In addition, a novel method of improving hearing is provided wherein only the sound that enters the ear is picked up and converted to a mechanical signal which is transmitted along a parallel path to aid the impaired hearing of the user so that the user may perceive the signal as nearly normal as is possible.
The invention has been described in detail with particular reference to a preferred embodiment thereof, but it will be understood that variations and modifications can be effected within the spirit and scope of this invention.
What is claimed is:
l. A self-contained implantable hearing device for positioning in a hollowed-out portion of the skull adjacent to the ear canal to provide a sound path parallel to the normal sound path to improve hearing, said unit comprising:
transducer means positionable adjacent the ear canal for receiving audio signals entering the ear canal and converting them to electrical signals; means for connecting said transducer means with the ear canal for transmission of the audio signal from the ear canal to said transducer means for transmission along a path parallel to the ear canal;
amplifier means coupled to said transducer means adjacent the ear canal for amplifying the electrical signal produced by said transducer means along said parallel path;
transmitter means coupled to said amplifier means adjacent the ear canal for converting the electrical signal to a mechanical response; and
mechanical response means coupled to said transmitter means adjacent the ear canal and connectable to a mechanical drive structure within the ear to complete said parallel path and to provide a mechanical movement of the structure in response to an acoustical signal received by said transducer, which augments and supports any signal produced by the transmission of sounds through the normal sound path of the ear to provide improved hearing.
2. An implantable hearing device unit, as claimed in claim 1, wherein said mechanical response means includes:
an elongated rigid element.
3. An implantable hearing device unit, as claimed in claim 1, wherein said transmitter means is:
a pieZo-electric crystal.
4. An implantable hearing device unit, as claimed in claim 1, wherein:
said mechanical response means is connected to the ossicular chain.
5. An implantable hearing device unit, as claimed in claim 1, wherein:
said mechanical response means is connected to the stapes.
6. An implantable hearing device unit, as claimed in claim 1, wherein:
said mechanical response means is connected to the oval window.
7. A self-contained implantable hearing device for positioning in a hollowed-out portion of the skull adjacent to the ear canal to provide a sound path parallel to the normal sound path to improve hearing, said unit comprising:
transducer means positionable adjacent the ear canal for receiving audio signals entering the ear canal and converting them to electrical signals;
means for connecting said transducer means with the ear canal for transmission of the audio signal from the ear canal to said transducer means for transmission along a path parallel to the ear canal;
amplifier means coupled to said transducer means adjacent the ear canal for amplifying the electrical signal produced by said transducer means along said parallel path;
a piezo-electric crystal connected to said amplifier means adjacent the ear canal and providing a mechanical response proportional to the electrical signal from said amplifier means; and
an elongated rigid element having one end connected to said piezo-electrical crystal adjacent the ear canal and the other end connectable to the ossicular chain to complete said parallel path and to provide a mechanical movement of the structure in response to an acoustical signal received by said transducer means, which augments and supports any signal produced by the transmission of sound through normal sound path of the ear to provide improved hearing.
8. A method of improving hearing by providing a sound path parallel to the normal sound path for reproducing sound and augmenting the sound entering an ear canal, including the steps of:
implanting a hearing device in the skull bone adjacent the ear canal, wherein said hearing device includes in series a microphone, an amplifier circuit, and a mechanical output responsive to an audio signal received by the microphone;
connecting the microphone in audio communication with the ear canal; and
connecting the mechanical output of the hearing device to a mechanical drive structure within the car so that sound entering the ear can pass along a parallel path through said hearing device to augment sound passing along the normal path.
9. The method as claimed in claim 8, wherein the connecting of the mechanical output is made to the ossicular chain.
10. A method as claimed in claim 8, wherein the connection of the mechanical output is to the stapes.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US3346704 *||Dec 27, 1963||Oct 10, 1967||Jack L Mahoney||Means for aiding hearing|
|US3712962 *||Apr 5, 1971||Jan 23, 1973||J Epley||Implantable piezoelectric hearing aid|
|US3764748 *||May 19, 1972||Oct 9, 1973||J Branch||Implanted hearing aids|
|Citing Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
|US4729366 *||Aug 11, 1986||Mar 8, 1988||Medical Devices Group, Inc.||Implantable hearing aid and method of improving hearing|
|US4774933 *||Nov 17, 1987||Oct 4, 1988||Xomed, Inc.||Method and apparatus for implanting hearing device|
|US4776322 *||Aug 18, 1986||Oct 11, 1988||Xomed, Inc.||Implantable electromagnetic middle-ear bone-conduction hearing aid device|
|US4850962 *||Mar 8, 1988||Jul 25, 1989||Medical Devices Group, Inc.||Implantable hearing aid and method of improving hearing|
|US5015225 *||Mar 17, 1988||May 14, 1991||Xomed, Inc.||Implantable electromagnetic middle-ear bone-conduction hearing aid device|
|US5085628 *||Oct 12, 1989||Feb 4, 1992||Storz Instrument Company||Implantable hearing aid coupler device|
|US5277694 *||Feb 13, 1992||Jan 11, 1994||Implex Gmbh||Electromechanical transducer for implantable hearing aids|
|US5390254 *||Apr 19, 1993||Feb 14, 1995||Adelman; Roger A.||Hearing apparatus|
|US5456654 *||Jul 1, 1993||Oct 10, 1995||Ball; Geoffrey R.||Implantable magnetic hearing aid transducer|
|US5554096 *||Apr 8, 1994||Sep 10, 1996||Symphonix||Implantable electromagnetic hearing transducer|
|US5624376 *||Jan 3, 1995||Apr 29, 1997||Symphonix Devices, Inc.||Implantable and external hearing systems having a floating mass transducer|
|US5702342 *||Jun 7, 1995||Dec 30, 1997||Otologics Llc.||Directionally-controllable mounting apparatus|
|US5772575 *||Sep 22, 1995||Jun 30, 1998||S. George Lesinski||Implantable hearing aid|
|US5800336 *||Jan 3, 1996||Sep 1, 1998||Symphonix Devices, Inc.||Advanced designs of floating mass transducers|
|US5814095 *||Mar 13, 1997||Sep 29, 1998||Implex Gmbh Spezialhorgerate||Implantable microphone and implantable hearing aids utilizing same|
|US5833626 *||Oct 7, 1996||Nov 10, 1998||Implex Gmbh Spezialhorgerate||Device for electromechanical stimulation and testing of hearing|
|US5857958 *||Dec 23, 1996||Jan 12, 1999||Symphonix Devices, Inc.||Implantable and external hearing systems having a floating mass transducer|
|US5881158 *||May 23, 1997||Mar 9, 1999||United States Surgical Corporation||Microphones for an implantable hearing aid|
|US5897486 *||Mar 11, 1997||Apr 27, 1999||Symphonix Devices, Inc.||Dual coil floating mass transducers|
|US5913815 *||Dec 6, 1995||Jun 22, 1999||Symphonix Devices, Inc.||Bone conducting floating mass transducers|
|US5951601 *||Mar 24, 1997||Sep 14, 1999||Lesinski; S. George||Attaching an implantable hearing aid microactuator|
|US5977689 *||Jul 18, 1997||Nov 2, 1999||Neukermans; Armand P.||Biocompatible, implantable hearing aid microactuator|
|US5984859 *||Apr 25, 1996||Nov 16, 1999||Lesinski; S. George||Implantable auditory system components and system|
|US6001129 *||Aug 7, 1997||Dec 14, 1999||St. Croix Medical, Inc.||Hearing aid transducer support|
|US6041129 *||Jan 18, 1996||Mar 21, 2000||Adelman; Roger A.||Hearing apparatus|
|US6113531 *||Nov 18, 1998||Sep 5, 2000||Implex Aktiengesellschaft Hearing Technology||Process for optimization of mechanical inner ear stimulation in partially or fully implantable hearing systems|
|US6137889 *||May 27, 1998||Oct 24, 2000||Insonus Medical, Inc.||Direct tympanic membrane excitation via vibrationally conductive assembly|
|US6153966 *||Sep 27, 1999||Nov 28, 2000||Neukermans; Armand P.||Biocompatible, implantable hearing aid microactuator|
|US6214046||Dec 31, 1998||Apr 10, 2001||St. Croix Medical, Inc.||Method of implanting an implantable hearing assistance device with remote electronics unit|
|US6235056||Dec 31, 1998||May 22, 2001||St. Croix Medical, Inc.||Implantable hearing assistance device with remote electronics unit|
|US6277148||Feb 11, 1999||Aug 21, 2001||Soundtec, Inc.||Middle ear magnet implant, attachment device and method, and test instrument and method|
|US6315710||Jul 21, 1997||Nov 13, 2001||St. Croix Medical, Inc.||Hearing system with middle ear transducer mount|
|US6398717||May 22, 2000||Jun 4, 2002||Phonak Ag||Device for mechanical coupling of an electromechanical hearing aid converter which can be implanted in a mastoid cavity|
|US6436028||Dec 28, 1999||Aug 20, 2002||Soundtec, Inc.||Direct drive movement of body constituent|
|US6473651||Feb 28, 2000||Oct 29, 2002||Advanced Bionics Corporation||Fluid filled microphone balloon to be implanted in the middle ear|
|US6475134||Jan 14, 1999||Nov 5, 2002||Symphonix Devices, Inc.||Dual coil floating mass transducers|
|US6482144||Oct 6, 2000||Nov 19, 2002||Phonak Ag||Arrangement for mechanical coupling of a driver to a coupling site of the ossicular chain|
|US6488616||Apr 18, 2000||Dec 3, 2002||St. Croix Medical, Inc.||Hearing aid transducer support|
|US6537199||Jul 26, 2000||Mar 25, 2003||Phonak Ag||Arrangement for mechanical coupling of a driver to a coupling site of the ossicular chain|
|US6540661||Oct 6, 2000||Apr 1, 2003||Phonak Ag||Arrangement for coupling of a driver to a coupling site of the ossicular chain|
|US6540662||Jul 5, 2001||Apr 1, 2003||St. Croix Medical, Inc.||Method and apparatus for reduced feedback in implantable hearing assistance systems|
|US6547715||Jul 10, 2000||Apr 15, 2003||Phonak Ag||Arrangement for mechanical coupling of a driver to a coupling site of the ossicular chain|
|US6554762||Aug 27, 2001||Apr 29, 2003||Cochlear Limited||Implantable hearing system with means for measuring its coupling quality|
|US6592512||Aug 13, 2001||Jul 15, 2003||Phonak Ag||At least partially implantable system for rehabilitation of a hearing disorder|
|US6620110||Dec 29, 2000||Sep 16, 2003||Phonak Ag||Hearing aid implant mounted in the ear and hearing aid implant|
|US6676592||Nov 1, 2002||Jan 13, 2004||Symphonix Devices, Inc.||Dual coil floating mass transducers|
|US6689045||Dec 12, 2001||Feb 10, 2004||St. Croix Medical, Inc.||Method and apparatus for improving signal quality in implantable hearing systems|
|US6726618||Apr 12, 2002||Apr 27, 2004||Otologics, Llc||Hearing aid with internal acoustic middle ear transducer|
|US6730015||Jun 1, 2001||May 4, 2004||Mike Schugt||Flexible transducer supports|
|US6755778||Oct 18, 2002||Jun 29, 2004||St. Croix Medical, Inc.||Method and apparatus for reduced feedback in implantable hearing assistance systems|
|US6914994||Sep 7, 2001||Jul 5, 2005||Insound Medical, Inc.||Canal hearing device with transparent mode|
|US6940988||Nov 25, 1998||Sep 6, 2005||Insound Medical, Inc.||Semi-permanent canal hearing device|
|US6940989||Dec 30, 1999||Sep 6, 2005||Insound Medical, Inc.||Direct tympanic drive via a floating filament assembly|
|US7016504||Sep 21, 1999||Mar 21, 2006||Insonus Medical, Inc.||Personal hearing evaluator|
|US7226406||Aug 27, 2001||Jun 5, 2007||Cochlear Limited||At least partially implantable hearing system|
|US7379555||Jan 26, 2005||May 27, 2008||Insound Medical, Inc.||Precision micro-hole for extended life batteries|
|US7424124||Apr 26, 2005||Sep 9, 2008||Insound Medical, Inc.||Semi-permanent canal hearing device|
|US7481761||Jan 14, 2004||Jan 27, 2009||Med-El Elektromedizinische Geräte Ges.m.b.H.||Implantable converter for cochlea implants and implantable hearing aids|
|US7664282||Sep 27, 2005||Feb 16, 2010||Insound Medical, Inc.||Sealing retainer for extended wear hearing devices|
|US7668325||May 3, 2005||Feb 23, 2010||Earlens Corporation||Hearing system having an open chamber for housing components and reducing the occlusion effect|
|US7676372||Feb 16, 2000||Mar 9, 2010||Yugen Kaisha Gm&M||Prosthetic hearing device that transforms a detected speech into a speech of a speech form assistive in understanding the semantic meaning in the detected speech|
|US7769461||Dec 17, 2004||Aug 3, 2010||Boston Scientific Neuromodulation Corporation||Skull-mounted electrical stimulation system and method for treating patients|
|US7867160||Oct 11, 2005||Jan 11, 2011||Earlens Corporation||Systems and methods for photo-mechanical hearing transduction|
|US7876919||Jun 29, 2006||Jan 25, 2011||Insound Medical, Inc.||Hearing aid microphone protective barrier|
|US8068630||Nov 26, 2007||Nov 29, 2011||Insound Medical, Inc.||Precision micro-hole for extended life batteries|
|US8105229||Apr 9, 2007||Jan 31, 2012||Cochlear Limited||At least partially implantable hearing system|
|US8147544||Oct 26, 2002||Apr 3, 2012||Otokinetics Inc.||Therapeutic appliance for cochlea|
|US8295523||Oct 2, 2008||Oct 23, 2012||SoundBeam LLC||Energy delivery and microphone placement methods for improved comfort in an open canal hearing aid|
|US8396239||Jun 17, 2009||Mar 12, 2013||Earlens Corporation||Optical electro-mechanical hearing devices with combined power and signal architectures|
|US8401212||Oct 14, 2008||Mar 19, 2013||Earlens Corporation||Multifunction system and method for integrated hearing and communication with noise cancellation and feedback management|
|US8401214||Jun 18, 2010||Mar 19, 2013||Earlens Corporation||Eardrum implantable devices for hearing systems and methods|
|US8457336||Jun 18, 2010||Jun 4, 2013||Insound Medical, Inc.||Contamination resistant ports for hearing devices|
|US8494200||Dec 15, 2010||Jul 23, 2013||Insound Medical, Inc.||Hearing aid microphone protective barrier|
|US8503707||Dec 23, 2009||Aug 6, 2013||Insound Medical, Inc.||Sealing retainer for extended wear hearing devices|
|US8538055||Feb 15, 2008||Sep 17, 2013||Insound Medical, Inc.||Semi-permanent canal hearing device and insertion method|
|US8666101||Nov 16, 2011||Mar 4, 2014||Insound Medical, Inc.||Precision micro-hole for extended life batteries|
|US8682016||Nov 23, 2011||Mar 25, 2014||Insound Medical, Inc.||Canal hearing devices and batteries for use with same|
|US8696541||Dec 3, 2010||Apr 15, 2014||Earlens Corporation||Systems and methods for photo-mechanical hearing transduction|
|US8715152||Jun 17, 2009||May 6, 2014||Earlens Corporation||Optical electro-mechanical hearing devices with separate power and signal components|
|US8715153||Jun 22, 2010||May 6, 2014||Earlens Corporation||Optically coupled bone conduction systems and methods|
|US8715154||Jun 24, 2010||May 6, 2014||Earlens Corporation||Optically coupled cochlear actuator systems and methods|
|US8761423||Nov 23, 2011||Jun 24, 2014||Insound Medical, Inc.||Canal hearing devices and batteries for use with same|
|US8787609||Feb 19, 2013||Jul 22, 2014||Earlens Corporation||Eardrum implantable devices for hearing systems and methods|
|US8808906||Nov 23, 2011||Aug 19, 2014||Insound Medical, Inc.||Canal hearing devices and batteries for use with same|
|US8824715||Nov 16, 2012||Sep 2, 2014||Earlens Corporation||Optical electro-mechanical hearing devices with combined power and signal architectures|
|US8845705||Jun 24, 2010||Sep 30, 2014||Earlens Corporation||Optical cochlear stimulation devices and methods|
|US8858419||Mar 22, 2011||Oct 14, 2014||Earlens Corporation||Balanced armature devices and methods for hearing|
|US8876689||Apr 2, 2012||Nov 4, 2014||Otokinetics Inc.||Hearing aid microactuator|
|US8986187||Mar 18, 2014||Mar 24, 2015||Earlens Corporation||Optically coupled cochlear actuator systems and methods|
|US9049528||Jul 24, 2014||Jun 2, 2015||Earlens Corporation||Optical electro-mechanical hearing devices with combined power and signal architectures|
|US9055379||Jun 7, 2010||Jun 9, 2015||Earlens Corporation||Optically coupled acoustic middle ear implant systems and methods|
|US9060234||May 21, 2014||Jun 16, 2015||Insound Medical, Inc.||Canal hearing devices and batteries for use with same|
|US9071914||Aug 13, 2008||Jun 30, 2015||Insound Medical, Inc.||Combined microphone and receiver assembly for extended wear canal hearing devices|
|US9154891||Jan 7, 2010||Oct 6, 2015||Earlens Corporation||Hearing system having improved high frequency response|
|US9226083||Feb 15, 2013||Dec 29, 2015||Earlens Corporation||Multifunction system and method for integrated hearing and communication with noise cancellation and feedback management|
|US9277335||Jun 10, 2014||Mar 1, 2016||Earlens Corporation||Eardrum implantable devices for hearing systems and methods|
|US9392377||Jun 17, 2013||Jul 12, 2016||Earlens Corporation||Anatomically customized ear canal hearing apparatus|
|US9544700||Jun 14, 2010||Jan 10, 2017||Earlens Corporation||Optically coupled active ossicular replacement prosthesis|
|US9591409||Jan 5, 2016||Mar 7, 2017||Earlens Corporation||Optical electro-mechanical hearing devices with separate power and signal components|
|US20050102006 *||Sep 24, 2004||May 12, 2005||Whitehurst Todd K.||Skull-mounted electrical stimulation system|
|US20050113633 *||Jan 14, 2004||May 26, 2005||Med-El Elektromedizinische Gerate Ges.M.B.H.||Implantable converter for cochlea implants and implantable hearing aids|
|US20050203557 *||Oct 26, 2002||Sep 15, 2005||Lesinski S. G.||Implantation method for a hearing aid microactuator implanted into the cochlea|
|US20050259840 *||Jan 26, 2005||Nov 24, 2005||Insound Medical, Inc.||Precision micro-hole for extended life batteries|
|US20060002574 *||Jul 1, 2005||Jan 5, 2006||Insound Medical, Inc.||Canal hearing device with transparent mode|
|US20060050914 *||Sep 27, 2005||Mar 9, 2006||Insound Medical, Inc.||Sealing retainer for extended wear hearing devices|
|US20060058573 *||Sep 16, 2005||Mar 16, 2006||Neisz Johann J||Method and apparatus for vibrational damping of implantable hearing aid components|
|US20060189841 *||Oct 11, 2005||Aug 24, 2006||Vincent Pluvinage||Systems and methods for photo-mechanical hearing transduction|
|US20060210090 *||Mar 16, 2006||Sep 21, 2006||Insound Medical, Inc.||Personal hearing evaluator|
|US20060251278 *||May 3, 2005||Nov 9, 2006||Rodney Perkins And Associates||Hearing system having improved high frequency response|
|US20060293723 *||Dec 17, 2004||Dec 28, 2006||Whitehurst Todd K||Skull-mounted electrical stimulation system and method for treating patients|
|US20070003087 *||Jun 29, 2006||Jan 4, 2007||Insound Medical, Inc.||Hearing aid microphone protective barrier|
|US20070249890 *||Apr 9, 2007||Oct 25, 2007||Cochlear Limited||At least partially implantable hearing system|
|US20080069386 *||Nov 26, 2007||Mar 20, 2008||Insound Medical, Inc.||Precision micro-hole for extended life batteries|
|US20080137892 *||Feb 15, 2008||Jun 12, 2008||Insound Medical, Inc.||Semi-permanent canal hearing device and insertion method|
|US20090074220 *||Aug 13, 2008||Mar 19, 2009||Insound Medical, Inc.||Combined microphone and receiver assembly for extended wear canal hearing devices|
|US20090092271 *||Oct 2, 2008||Apr 9, 2009||Earlens Corporation||Energy Delivery and Microphone Placement Methods for Improved Comfort in an Open Canal Hearing Aid|
|US20090097681 *||Oct 14, 2008||Apr 16, 2009||Earlens Corporation||Multifunction System and Method for Integrated Hearing and Communication with Noise Cancellation and Feedback Management|
|US20100048982 *||Jun 17, 2009||Feb 25, 2010||Earlens Corporation||Optical Electro-Mechanical Hearing Devices With Separate Power and Signal Components|
|US20100098281 *||Dec 23, 2009||Apr 22, 2010||Insound Medical, Inc.||Sealing retainer for extended wear hearing devices|
|US20100202645 *||Jan 7, 2010||Aug 12, 2010||Earlens Corporation||Hearing system having improved high frequency response|
|US20100312040 *||Jun 7, 2010||Dec 9, 2010||SoundBeam LLC||Optically Coupled Acoustic Middle Ear Implant Systems and Methods|
|US20100317914 *||Jun 14, 2010||Dec 16, 2010||SoundBeam LLC||Optically Coupled Active Ossicular Replacement Prosthesis|
|US20100322452 *||Jun 18, 2010||Dec 23, 2010||Insound Medical, Inc.||Contamination resistant ports for hearing devices|
|US20110009920 *||Jul 13, 2010||Jan 13, 2011||Boston Scientific Neuromodulation Corporation||Skull-mounted electrical stimulation system and method for treating patients|
|US20110077453 *||Dec 3, 2010||Mar 31, 2011||Earlens Corporation||Systems and Methods For Photo-Mechanical Hearing Transduction|
|US20110085688 *||Dec 15, 2010||Apr 14, 2011||Insound Medical, Inc.||Hearing aid microphone protective barrier|
|US20110142274 *||Jun 18, 2010||Jun 16, 2011||SoundBeam LLC||Eardrum Implantable Devices For Hearing Systems and Methods|
|US20110144719 *||Jun 18, 2010||Jun 16, 2011||SoundBeam LLC||Optically Coupled Cochlear Implant Systems and Methods|
|US20110152602 *||Jun 22, 2010||Jun 23, 2011||SoundBeam LLC||Round Window Coupled Hearing Systems and Methods|
|USH1875 *||Jul 22, 1996||Oct 3, 2000||Microtronic A/S||Electroacoustic transducer|
|DE19840212C2 *||Sep 3, 1998||Aug 2, 2001||Implex Hear Tech Ag||Wandleranordnung für teil- oder vollimplantierbare Hörgeräte|
|EP0263254A1 *||Jul 30, 1987||Apr 13, 1988||Medical Devices Group, Inc.||Implantable hearing aid|
|EP0806884A1 *||Apr 30, 1997||Nov 12, 1997||IMPLEX GmbH Spezialhörgeräte||Apparatus for the electro-mechanical stimulation and for the examination of the ears|
|EP1439737A2||Jan 14, 2004||Jul 21, 2004||Med-El Elektromedizinische Geräte Ges.m.b.h.||Implantable electromechanical transducer|
|WO1989005559A1 *||Dec 1, 1988||Jun 15, 1989||Claus Jansen||Electroacoustic transducer|
|WO1995017078A1 *||Dec 14, 1994||Jun 22, 1995||Hill Frank C||Hearing aid|
|WO2001028288A2 *||Dec 29, 2000||Apr 19, 2001||Phonak Ag||Hearing aid implant which is arranged in the ear|
|WO2001028288A3 *||Dec 29, 2000||May 10, 2002||Phonak Ag||Hearing aid implant which is arranged in the ear|
|WO2001050815A1||Dec 28, 2000||Jul 12, 2001||Insonus Medical, Inc.||Direct tympanic drive via a floating filament assembly|
|WO2010141895A1||Jun 4, 2010||Dec 9, 2010||SoundBeam LLC||Optically coupled acoustic middle ear implant systems and methods|
|WO2010147935A1||Jun 15, 2010||Dec 23, 2010||SoundBeam LLC||Optically coupled active ossicular replacement prosthesis|
|WO2011005500A2||Jun 22, 2010||Jan 13, 2011||SoundBeam LLC||Round window coupled hearing systems and methods|
|WO2011066295A1||Nov 23, 2010||Jun 3, 2011||Med-El Elektromedizinische Geraete Gmbh||Implantable microphone for hearing systems|
|WO2011066306A1||Nov 23, 2010||Jun 3, 2011||Med-El Elektromedizinische Geraete Gmbh||Implantable microphone for hearing systems|
|U.S. Classification||600/25, 381/173|
|International Classification||A61F2/18, A61F11/04, H04R25/00|
|Cooperative Classification||H04R2225/67, H04R25/606|
|Mar 7, 1983||AS02||Assignment of assignor's interest|
Owner name: MEDICAL DEVICES GROUP, INC., MADISON, WIS., A CORP
Owner name: SCHAEFER, DONALD
Effective date: 19830225
|Mar 7, 1983||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: MEDICAL DEVICES GROUP, INC., MADISON, WIS., A CORP
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:SCHAEFER, DONALD;REEL/FRAME:004100/0543
Effective date: 19830225
|Apr 26, 1982||AS||Assignment|
Owner name: SCHAEFER, DONALD
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST.;ASSIGNOR:JOHN C. EASTLACK, TRUSTEE APPOINTED IN THE BANKRUPTCY PROCEEDING OF T.H.C., INC., D/B/A THE VICON INSTRUMENT COMPANY;REEL/FRAME:003982/0090
Effective date: 19811209
|Apr 26, 1982||AS02||Assignment of assignor's interest|
Owner name: JOHN C. EASTLACK, TRUSTEE APPOINTED IN THE BANKRUP
Effective date: 19811209
Owner name: SCHAEFER, DONALD