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2003/134/2 Cochlear implant, Nucleus 24 Contour, metal / plastic, made by Cochlear Ltd, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2003. Click to enlarge.

Cochlear implant

Made by Cochlear Limited in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2003.
Australian company Cochlear Ltd continues to lead the world in the development, manufacture and sale of cochlear implants and associated speech processors that enable recipients with severe or profound hearing loss to hear speech and other sounds. By 2003, over fifty thousand people in more than 120 countries had received implants designed and made by the company. In that year, the Australian inventor of the implant, Professor Graeme Clark, received the rare honour of being made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine.

The self-curling electrode array is the main innovation embodied in this product, relative to earlier cochlear implants. The array is designed to fit the shape of the average human cochlea; it is straightened during surgery to insert it through a small incision, but it retains memory of its shape and curls to sit against the inner wall of the cochlea. This allows surgery to be less invasive than previously, when positioning bands were needed.

Debbie Rudder, Curator, 2003


Object No.


Object Statement

Cochlear implant, Nucleus 24 Contour, metal / plastic, made by Cochlear Ltd, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2003

Physical Description

The implant consists of a oval shaped plastic capsule, called a receiver stimulator, attached to an electrode array. A magnet is set within the wider end of the capsule, allowing the external radio-frequency transmitter (which carries coded output from the external speech processor) to be positioned accurately in relation to the implant. A receiving coil is set into the circumference of the wide end of the capsule and attached to the internal processor, set into the smaller end of the capsule, which converts the code to electrical impulses. These impulses are then conducted into the recipient's cochlea by the self-curling 22-channel electrode array, which is shaped to fit the contour of the cochlea. There the information is transferred to the recipient's auditory nerve and thence to the brain, where it is interpreted as sound.


Star shape printed on magnet, in black

Printed on internal processor, in black 'Nucleus (registered trademark symbol) / Cochlear / AUSTRALIA CI79800'

Stamped into internal processor, 'CI24R / CS / CCS'



150 mm


30 mm


7 mm



The self-curling electrode array was designed by an in-house team. The array is made of platinum, platinum-iridium alloy, parylene and silicone. In 2000 it won the Australian Design Award of the Year, and in 2001 it won a US Medical Design Excellence Award.

Made at Cochlear Ltd's factory in the Sydney suburb of Lane Cove.


Credit Line

Gift of Cochlear Ltd, 2003

Acquisition Date

8 October 2003

Cite this Object


Cochlear implant 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 12 August 2020, <>


{{cite web |url= |title=Cochlear implant |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=12 August 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

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