Project COMBS

Model-based image segmentation of the human cochlea

The cochlea is a part of the auditory system and a very important part of the inner ear. It is responsible for the transfer of audio signals to the brain. Specific disorders of the cochlea can be solved only with a special implant. This implant is an electronic device which simulates the functionality of the cochlea.

A successful cochlea surgery requires appropriate medical images to facilitate the doctors in making decisions on the right type of implant and the suitable size of the cochlea implant. Because the structure of the cochlea is very fine, there is the problem that the required resolution for a metric description is below the technical resolution of medical images such as CT and MRI. To improve the resolution of images, two main methods are used in this project: model-based segmentation and the production of a very precise histological model. Using this method, three goals can be achieved:

  1. Segmentation of the cochlea, with a resolution which is far above a CT / DVT resolution.
  2. Recognition of the chambers within the cochlea (Scalae).
  3. Identification of metric parameters, including the distance (minimum to maximum).

This project is performed in cooperation with the Bundeswehr Zentralkrankenhaus Koblenz and is financially supported by Cochlear Limited ® under the authorization number 5141056.