M.S. (Master of Science)
Department of Electrical Engineering
Conductive hearing loss (CHL) is a common condition among infants and young children. CHL caused by an obstruction/damage in the auditory canal, preventing sounds from properly transferring into the inner ear. Failure in timely treatment in the early stage of life will delay brain and physical development, affecting language acquisition, learning abilities, communication, and social skills. The available treatment for CHL is corrective surgeries and conductive hearing aids. These options are invasive and are not suitable for newborns, infants, and pediatric patients with fragile organs. Here, we designed and characterized micro-actuators on flexible substrates to generate vibrations on the surface of skin to bypass CHL. This will eliminate needs for highly invasive surgeries and implantable aids and will enable a noninvasive, pediatric-friendly conductive hearing aid.The objective of this project is to study stress, deformation, and acceleration for various size of the piezoelectric actuator on a flexible substrate (e. g. PDMS). ANSYS, a finite element method-based software, was used to simulate and design the structures. We also assembled two experimental setups with a laser Doppler vibrometer (LDV) and an accelerometer to characterize actuators. The results showed that actuators on the surface of skin will be able to induce vibrations in bone and potentially bypass CHL.
Chapagain, Sandhya, "Design and Characterization of Piezoelectric Actuator on Flexible Substrate for Conductive Hearing Aids" (2021). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 6912.
Northern Illinois University
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