The Development of the Nucleus®Freedom™ Cochlear Implant System

James F. Patrick, Peter A. Busby, Peter J. Gibson

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    153 Citations (Scopus)


    Cochlear Limited (Cochlear™) released the fourth-generation cochlear implant system, Nucleus®Freedom™, in 2005. Freedom is based on 25 years of experience in cochlear implant research and development and incorporates advances in medicine, implantable materials, electronic technology, and sound coding. This article presents the development of Cochlear's implant systems, with an overview of the first 3 generations, and details of the Freedom system: the CI24RE receiver-stimulator, the Contour Advance™ electrode, the modular Freedom processor, the available speech coding strategies, the input processing options of SmartSound™ to improve the signal before coding as electrical signals, and the programming software. Preliminary results from multicenter studies with the Freedom system are reported, demonstrating better levels of performance compared with the previous systems. The final section presents the most recent implant reliability data, with the early findings at 18 months showing improved reliability of the Freedom implant compared with the earlier Nucleus 3 System. Also reported are some of the findings of Cochlear's collaborative research programs to improve recipient outcomes. Included are studies showing the benefits from bilateral implants, electroacoustic stimulation using an ipsilateral and/or contralateral hearing aid, advanced speech coding, and streamlined speech processor programming.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)175-200
    Number of pages26
    JournalTrends in Amplification
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


    • Cochlear implant
    • coding strategy
    • combined stimulation
    • electroacoustic stimulation
    • Nucleus Freedom
    • preprocessing


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