Cochlear implant array insertion forces are potentially related to cochlear trauma. We compared these forces between a standard (Digisonic SP; Neurelec, Vallauris, France) and an array prototype (Neurelec) with a smaller diameter. The arrays were inserted by a mechatronic tool in 23 dissected human cochlea specimens exposing the basilar membrane. The array progression under the basilar membrane was filmed together with dynamic force measurements. Insertion force profiles and depth of insertion were compared. The recordings showed lower insertion forces beyond 270° of insertion and deeper insertions with the thin prototype array. This will potentially allow larger cochlear coverage with less trauma.

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