Project Image:
Title of the project:
Individualized middle ear implant for outpatient implantation
Development of an implant based on optical transmission of the sound signal and stimulation at the inner ear
Project leader:
Dr. Claus J. Burkhardt
Project funding:
  • Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF)
Project management:
  • VDI (Verein deutscher Ingenieure)
Funding reference number:

Together with the project partners Auric Hörsysteme, Fraunhofer IPA and the Hearing Research Centre of the University ENT Clinic Tübingen, an active middle ear implant for outpatient implantation is being developed.


In the IMAI project, a new individualized middle ear implant is to be developed. For outpatient implantation, which will create the conditions for significantly more severely hearing impaired patients to benefit from the audiological advantages of a  active middle ear implant at reasonable cost in the future. The  implant is based  on a piezoelectric micro-bending actuator that is placed on the round window in the middle ear by means of a fastening element specially adapted to the patient. Signal and energy transmission takes place via an optical transmission path through the eardrum.
The mechanical and electrical connection between the receiver module (photodiodes and chip for signal adaptation) and  the actuator is controlled by means of a of a flexible, biostable cable. The 3D micro assembly and connection technology required for this and the appropriate biostable encapsulation of the middle ear implant are carried out in the clean room and in the laboratories at the NMI.

Project partners:
  • Auric Hörsysteme
  • Fraunhofer IPA
  • HNO Klinik Tübingen