Automated System for Digital Measurements of Ear Canal Geometry

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-10-C-0012
Agency Tracking Number: N082-153-0773
Amount: $749,244.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2010
Solicitation Year: 2008
Solicitation Topic Code: N08-153
Solicitation Number: 2008.2
Small Business Information
Creare Inc.
P.O. Box 71, Hanover, NH, -
DUNS: 072021041
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Jerry Bieszczad
 Principal Investigator
 (603) 643-3800
 jyb@creare.com
Business Contact
 James Barry
Title: President
Phone: (603) 643-3800
Email: contractsmgr@creare.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
In order to reduce risks for hearing loss among sailors, the Navy seeks new methods to accelerate widespread deployment and usage of custom earplugs. When properly fitted and worn, custom earplugs can provide consistent, reliable hearing protection. In this project, Creare is developing a new approach for characterizing ear canal and pinna geometry for prescribing custom earplugs. Our completely digital approach provides accurate and repeatable anatomic measurement for improved earplug fit, while also reducing the logistics burden currently associated with physical silicone ear impressions. During Phase I, we demonstrated that our technique measures ear anatomy very accurately (mean error less than 0.1 mm). In addition, our non-invasive approach has high repeatability and eliminates the operator and procedure variability that is typical of physical impressions. During Phase II, we aim to develop methods for balancing trade-offs among earplug comfort, fit, and performance, based on an individual’s anatomy and validated through human subject testing. Our digital technique also supports development of a database for managing, archiving, retrieving, and transmitting aural anatomy data; studying variations in anatomy across a population and the resulting impact on earplug design and effectiveness; and quantifying changes in aural anatomy that occur over time.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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