A Pilot Study of Robot-Assisted Cochlear Implant Surgery Using Steerable Electrode Arrays

  • Jian Zhang
  • Kai Xu
  • Nabil Simaan
  • Spiros Manolidis
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4190)


This paper presents results of a pilot study evaluating the efficacy of robotic assistance using novel steerable electrode arrays for cochlear implant surgery. The current surgical setup of cochlear implant surgery is briefly reviewed and its limitations are highlighted. In an effort to reduce trauma to the structure of the cochlea, the kinematics and path planning for novel cochlear steerable electrodes are developed to minimize the interaction forces between the electrode and the cochlea. An experimental robotic system is used to compare the electrode insertion forces of steerable implants with those of non-steerable electrodes. The results of these experiments show about 70% reduction in the insertion forces when steerable electrodes are used with our proposed path planning and control. A distance metric explaining this reduction in the insertion force is defined and experimentally validated. Although this is only a preliminary study, we believe that these results provide a strong indication to the potential of robot-assisted cochlear implant surgery to provide a significant reduction in trauma rates during cochlear implant surgery.


Path Planning Insertion Depth Electrode Insertion Path Planning Algorithm Insertion Force 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Roland, T.: A model for cochlear implant electrode insertion and force evaluation: results with a new electrode design and insertion technique. The Laryngeoscope 115, 1325–1339 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Eshraghi, A., Yang, N., Balkany, T.: Comparative Study of Cochlear Damage with Three Perimodiolar Electride Designs. The Laryngeoscope 113, 415–419 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Wardrop, P., et al.: A temporal bone study of insertion trauma and intracochlear position of cochlear implant electrodes I: comparison of Nucleus banded and Nucleus Contour electrodes. Hearing Research 203, 54–67 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wardrop, P., et al.: A temporal bone study of insertion trauma and intracochlear position of cochlear implant electrodes II: comparison of spiral clariontrade mark and HiFocus IItrade mark electrodes banded and Nucleus Contour electrodes. Hearing Research 203, 68–79 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Wei, W., Xu, K., Simaan, N.: A compact Two-armed Slave Manipulator for Minimally Invasive Surgery of the Throat. In: The first IEEE / RAS-EMBS International Conference on Biomedical Robotics and Biomechatronics (BIOROB 2006), Pisa, Italy (2006)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Ikuta, K., Yamamoto, K., Sasaki, K.: Development of Remote Microsurgery Robot and New Surgical Procedure for Deep and Narrow Space. In: IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (2003)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Walker, I.: Some Issues in Creating Invertebrate Robots. In: The Proceedings of the International Symposium on Adaptive Motion of Animals and Machines, Montreal, Canada (2000)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Gravagne, I., Walker, I.: On the Kinematics of Remotely-Actuated Continuum Robots. In: IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (2000)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Chirikjian, G.S., Burdick, J.W.: A Modal Approach to Hyper-Redundant Manipulator Kinematics. IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation 10(3), 343–354 (1994)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Burdick, J.W., Chirikjian, G.: The Kinematics of Hyper-Redundant Robots. In: Baillieul, J., Sastry, S., Sussmann, H. (eds.) The IMA Volumes in Mathematics and its Applications, vol. 104. Springer, Heidelberg (1998)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Mochiyama, H., Kobayashi, H.: The Shape Jacobian of a Manipulator with Hyper Degrees of Freedom. In: IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation (1999)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Mochiyama, H., Shimemura, E., Kobayashi, H.: Shape Correspondence between a Spatial Curve and a Manipulator with Hyper Degrees pf Freedom. In: IEEE/RSJ International conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) (1998)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Angeles, J., Lopez-Cajun, C.: Optimization of cam mechanisms. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht (1991)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Lancaster, P., Rodman, L.: Algebraic Riccati Equations. Oxford Science Publications (1995)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Cohen, L., et al.: Improved and Simplified Methods for Specifying Positions of the Electrode bands of a Cochlear Implant Array. The American Journal of Otology 17, 859–865 (1996)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ketten, D.R., et al.: In vivo measures of cochlear length and insertion depth of Nucleus cochlear implant electrode arrays. Ann. Otol. Rhinol. Laryngol. 107(12), 1–16 (1998)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Yoo, S.K., et al.: Three-Dimensional Modeling and Visualization of the Cochlea on the Internet. IEEE Transactions on Information Technology in Biomedicine 4(2), 144–151 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Juvinall, R., Marshek, K.: Fundamentals of Machine Component Design, 3rd edn. John Wiley & Sons, Chichester (2003)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jian Zhang
    • 1
  • Kai Xu
    • 1
  • Nabil Simaan
    • 1
  • Spiros Manolidis
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical Engineerin, Laboratory of Advanced Robotics and Mechanism ApplicationsColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck SurgeryNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations