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  • Laser-Doppler Vibrometry Center Opens in Stuttgart
Nov 2013
STUTTGART & WALDBRONN, Germany, Nov. 24, 2013 — A new center of excellence for laser-Doppler vibrometry in biomechanics opened this week at the University of Stuttgart. The research conducted there is expected to be especially beneficial to those with hearing impairments.

The center is supported by the Institute for Technical and Numeric Mechanics (ITM) at the University of Stuttgart and noncontact vibration-measurement technology provider Polytec of Waldbronn and aims to make mechanical engineering measurement techniques beneficial for biomechanics.

Laser-Doppler vibrometry is a measurement technique that records even the smallest of movements in the nanometer range, making highly dynamic processes accessible without influencing object being measured. It is traditionally used in technical systems like machines, robots or vehicles.

3-D vibration measurement on an experimental model. Courtesy of University of Stuttgart/ITM.

"Laser vibrometry is a basic methodological approach to record and to understand vibrations. It can therefore also be used with biomechanical processes, such as sound transmission through the middle ear to the inner ear," said Dr. Albrecht Eiber.

The measurement technique will help better determine how prostheses actually behave under different tones and how well the patient can hear after an operation, something previously hard to determine due to the tight conditions in the middle or inner ear and the patient's exposure to pain. Contact-free laser-Doppler vibrometry will help in the development of passive implants and active hearing aids.

ITM has been working with various vibrometers from Polytec and cooperating with university clinics in Zurich, Cologne and Hanover, as well as with business partners, to show future application possibilities for laser-Doppler vibrometry in biomechanics, medicine and mechanical engineering.

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