Preliminary Study of Palatal Implant for Sleep Apnea Control

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Conference Proceeding

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A fully-implantable device for treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is conceptually suggested using soft palate stimulation. In this research, two in vivo studies were conducted to demonstrate electrical and physical feasibilities of the suggested device. First, electrical stimulation was delivered to the soft palate of a rabbit using a stimulator ASIC. The stimulation frequencies were swept from 20 Hz to 200 Hz to find out the appropriate parameter. Also, threshold level of the current pulse was evaluated to be 1.10 mA with an observance of a C-arm fluoroscopy. Second, a mock-up was fabricated with liquid crystal polymer (LCP), reflecting dimensions of the suggested device. The mock-up was inserted toward the soft palate of a rabbit by incising the hard palate in a lateral direction. After the mock-up was inserted, protrusion of the device was not detected and the subject stayed alive for at least a month at the time of this writing. Finally, several discussions on the palatal implant fabrication with LCP are presented.

Publication Source (Journal or Book title)

Proceedings of the Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBS

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