Biomechanics Medical Engineering Design Mechanobiology Reuter-Bobbin
Vard, J.P., Kelly, D.J., Blayney, A.W. and Prendergast, P.J. ‘The influence of ventilation tube design on the magnitude of stress imposed at the implant/tympanic membrane interface’ in Medical Engineering and Physics, 30, (2), 2008, pp 154-163
Medical Engineering and Physics 30 2
The design of ventilation tubes or grommets is thought to have a considerable influence on
their performance. A computational model (finite element method) was used to investigate
the significance of four design parameters of a commonly-used design of ventilation tube.
The design parameters were: the length of the shaft, the diameter of the flanges, the
thickness of the flanges, and the material type. A statistical analysis technique, known as a
factorial analysis of variance, was used to examine the importance of the four design
parameters on the dynamical behaviour of the middle-ear with the implant in situ and on the
magnitude of stress induced at the implant/tympanic membrane interface. We predicted that
the ventilation tube alters the frequency response of the middle ear; specifically the shaft
length and the thickness of the flanges were found to have a significant effect upon the
vibratory pattern at the umbo. A reduced length of tube and an increased size of flange were
also found to be significant for minimising membrane stress (both with P < 0.001). Thus
design parameters of critical influence on optimising performance were identified.
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