Computer-assisted surgery and electrode development

The Computer-Assisted Surgery and Electrode Development Group is an interdisciplinary team of engineers and physicians working together to develop new technologies and methods for surgical rehabilitation of the inner ear. This includes the development of innovative products for minimally invasive cochlear implant surgery and automated electrode insertion, as well as the further development of the cochlear implant electrode array.


Main research topics

Image acquisition

  • Imaging of the inner ear and lateral skull base
  • Imaging of cochlear implants after insertion

Image processing and software development

  • Visualization and processing of medical images
  • Manual and semi-automatic segmentation
  • Trajectory planning
  • Calculation and visualization of bone thickness
  • Visualization of cochlear anatomy using rotating midmodiolar section planes
  • Software development with C++, VTK, ITK, Matlab, Mathematica, LabView

3D modeling

  • Anatomical models of the lateral skull base and surgical approach.
  • Finite element models of the human inner ear and electrode assembly.
  • Physical replica of the human inner ear (artificial cochlea model)

Development and evaluation of medical devices

  • Surgical assist devices for minimally invasive cochlear implantation surgery
  • Surgical instruments and medical devices such as.
  • Systems for image guided surgery
  • Microstereotactic frames (surgical templates)
  • Manual and automated insertion tools
  • Drilling tools

CI electrode development

  • Functionalization (shape memory inlays, fluid mechanical actuators, tubular manipulators,...).
  • Customization (length, thickness, change of shape,...)
  • Virtual prototyping using finite element analysis
  • Simulation and optimization of the individual insertion process

Characterization of CI electrodes

  • By means of 3D bending test
  • Determination of the curling behavior
  • Manual and automated insertion testing in artificial cochlear models.
  • Samples from the human temporal bone
  • Study of the insertion forces and their correlation to the insertion velocity Shape and size of the inner ear
  • Histology and evaluation of insertion trauma
Thomas Rau
Clinic and Polyclinic for Ear, Nose and Throat Medicine
Eralp Artukarslan
ENT Resident
M. Sc.
George Böttcher
Research Engineer
M. Sc.
Jacob Cramer
Research Engineer
M. Sc.
Tim Ehmann
Research Engineer
M. Sc.
Viktor Schell
Research Engineer



image-guided surgery, surgical robotics, medical devices, cochlear implant, mini-stereotactic systems, cochlear modeling, imaging, electrode design

 Dr. Ing. Thomas Rau

+49 511 532 3025


Stadtfelddamm 34
30625 Hanover