PHRC (2004-2008): Peroperative Micro-Montoring of Auditory Pathways via Direct Nerve Evoked Potentials

Microvitae has designed and provided the surgeon with a system which assists him to preserve patients hearing  functions in surgeries during which cochlear nerve could be damaged. These are skull base surgeries such as artery/nerve conflict, vestibular neurotomy and vestibular schwannoma. When a typical metallic ball type electrode is attached to the nerve, the risk of sudden traction exists which damages the nerve; the direct contact onto the nerve can also be too aggressive. The electrode designed for this purpose is an extremely flat and flexible 10 microns thick polymer device which sticks onto the cochlear nerve so that direct nerve potentials can be recorded without large averaging techniques. When the mechanical forces applied to the nerve by the surgeon become traumatic, a warning signal is sent to the surgeon in order to prevent unrecoverable damages. Between 2004 and 2008, a Clinical Research protocol allowed direct cochlear nerve monitoring of more than 50 patients with Professor Jacques MAGNAN, head of ENT department at Marseille North Hospital. Microvitae has designed and fabricated the surgical sterilized and biocompatible electrodes and provided the real time nerve potential recording system. During each surgery Patients have been acoustically stimulated by 32 clicks/s thanks to an ear insert and 2 nerve potentials per second  (averaging of 16 nerve potentials)have been acquired and visualized in real time.