Istituto di Ingegneria Biomedica     
Parazzini M., Sibella F., Paglialonga A., Ravazzani P. Assessment of the exposure to WLAN frequencies of a head model with a cochlear implant. In: Bioelectromagnetics, vol. 31 (7) pp. 546 - 555. Wiley, 2010.
In the last few years, significant developments have taken place in the field of Wireless Local Area Networks (WLAN), and the popularity of portable devices supporting Wireless Fidelity (Wi-Fi) is continuously growing. At the same time, the number of Active Implanted Medical Devices (AIMD) being placed in patients is widely increasing and among them, cochlear implants (CI) are becoming a common aid. The goal of this study is to investigate the effect on the electromagnetic field distribution and the specific absorption rate (SAR) due to the presence of a CI in a head model during far-field exposure to Wi-Fi frequencies. The head model was obtained by image segmentation, the implant was modelled as a geometric structure, and the exposure sources were modelled as a uniform plane wave (power density = 10 W/m2) at 2.4, 5.2 and 5.8 GHz. Vertical and horizontal polarizations were simulated. Conditions with and without CI were compared. The findings of that are: (1) local differences in the field distribution close to the CI, comparing the head models with or without the CI; (2) higher field strength and point SAR value in the cochlear region very close to the CI; (3) negligible differences in the field strength and point SAR value in the cochlear region far from the CI; (4) negligible variations in the average SAR values in the cochlea and head due to the presence of the CI. The results of this study conclude that insertion of a CI brings moderate localized differences in the E, H and point SAR distribution when evaluated close to the electrode array in the cochlea, while negligible differences are found in the average SAR values both in the cochlea and head, independent of frequency and wave polarization.
URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/bem.20601/abstract
DOI: 10.1002/bem.20601
Subject numerical dosimetry
human head model
cochlear implants
WLAN frequencies

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