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Fraunhofer Institute, OtoNexus Tackle Middle Ear Infection with MEMS

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The Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems and OtoNexus Medical Technologies have partnered to employ microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) for middle ear infections.

OtoNexus is developing a novel medical device to quickly and accurately provide quantitative information, helping clinicians diagnose middle ear infections (otitis media). Fraunhofer’s technology generates capacitors on the surface of silicon wafers. The ability of the capacitors to use one electrode as a suspension makes a swing movement possible. It allows the excitation of a moveable plate to swing in a wide frequency range, generating ultrasound signals, and both sending and receiving. Components based on this operational mode are called capacitive micromachined ultrasound transducers (CMUTs).

By using a CMUT in a system that can operate in the human external ear canal, it is possible to assess the contents of the middle ear behind the ear drum within seconds. With that capability, it can be determined whether the middle ear contains air or liquid, distinguishing between various disease conditions and helping clinicians decide if antibiotics are needed.

The Fraunhofer Institute for Photonic Microsystems provides expertise in modern R&D infrastructure for the field of optical sensors and actuators, integrated circuits, microsystems, and nanoelectronics. OtoNexus is a privately held startup that develops and commercializes innovative Doppler ultrasound technology to diagnose middle ear infections.

Feb/Mar 2019
BusinessFraunhoferInstitute for Photonic MicrosystemsOtoNexus Medical TechnologiesMEMSimagingBiophotonicspartnershipsAmericasEuropeRapidScanEuro News

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