The miniature FMT, or Floating Mass Transducer of the Vibrant Soundbridge, is a vibratory device which is smaller than a grain of rice. This tiny golden cylinder is responsible for vibrating middle ear structures, passing on sound signals from the audio processor which are converted into mechanical energy. This mechanical energy is used to stimulate middle ear structures for exceptional high frequency sound perception.
While the FMT is small, the vibrations produced by the mechanical energy are correspondingly diminutive. Vibrant Soundbridge inventor Geoffery Ball once quipped, "that the amount of vibration needed to stimulate hearing is like the heartbeat of an ant."
Single Point Attachment of the FMT
The Vibrant Soundbridge is the only middle ear implant system that features a single point attachment. The FMT is only attached to the structure of the middle ear that it is stimulating.
The FMT is a tiny magnet that consists of five components. This simplicity makes it a reliable device that can be used to optimally compensate for a variety of different kinds of hearing loss. When the FMT is attached to a vibratory structure of the middle ear, it is able to vibrate the structure thereby stimulating the auditory system.
For example, the FMT can be attached to the incus as well as to the round window or the oval window. This versatility of the FMT allows for the successful treatment of various complicated middle ear conditions, all of which have proven to be safe, effective and reliable.
This single point attachment makes placement of the FMT independent of skull growth and therefore suitable for implantation in growing children.*