Patent Number: 7,272,449

Title: Cochlear implant electrode array

Abstract: A cochlear implant electrode assembly (10) comprising an elongate electrode carrier member (11), a bioresorbable stiffening element (15) and an outer layer (16) surrounding the stiffening element (15). The carrier member (11) is made of a resiliently flexible first material and has a plurality of electrodes (12) mounted thereon and has a first configuration selected to allow it to be inserted into an implantee's cochlea, and at least a second configuration wherein it is curved to match a surface of the cochlea. The bioresorbable stiffening element (15) has a configuration selected for biassing the elongate member (11) into the first configuratin and is made of a second material relatively stiffer than the first material and which dissolves or softens on exposure to cochlear fluids to permit the elongate member (11) to at least approach or adopt the second configuration. The outer layer (16) surrounding the stiffening element (15) is made of a material sufficiently resiliently flexible to allow the elongate member (11) to at least approach or adopt the second configuration. The outer layer (16) has a first rate of cochlear fluid ingress therethrough and has at least one fluid ingress means (21) formed therein. The rate of cochlear fluid ingress through the fluid ingress means (21) is greater than the first rate of cochlear fluid ingress through the outer layer (16).

Inventors: Dadd; Fysh (Lane Cove, AU), Darley; Ian (Lane Cove, AU), Gibson; Peter (Lane Cove, AU), Parker; John (Lane Cove, AU), Treaba; Claudiu (Lane Cove, AU)

Assignee: Cochlear Limited

International Classification: A61N 1/05 (20060101)

Expiration Date: 2019-09-18 0:00:00