Tragus Implants

Hey guys! So I’ve heard a lot of talk about tragus implants but surprisingly haven’t seen much discussion of them. I’m interested in it, but I’m fuzzy about the details.

I don’t think there’s any professionals around me who could do it, so I’m gonna try doing one of my tragus myself, and see how it turns out. Magnet implant procedures in fingers have been discussed to no end, but I was wondering if anyone had any resources or information about it. Thanks!
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  • Hey @trroyyc

    A user named Vicarious on the DT forums has been experimenting with that lately (not sure what his handle is on here, but he has more than a dozen implants so he's certainly here somewhere.) He used the recently produced xG3, which is encapsulated in glass and injected with a syringe, and implanted it in his tragus. He said he got pretty good sound quality when he made a somewhat janky amplifier/coil necklace.

    I would advise against DIY tragus implant. You should at least get another person to help you out. If the format is an injector it'll be a bit easier. Also, it seems like there's fewer nerve endings around there than in a hand, so topical anesthetic will probably work if you let it sit long enough to penetrate. Just be super careful applying force with sharp things around your ears. You need them for hearing, and stuff.
  • @Satur9 said:
    Hey @trroyyc

    A user named Vicarious on the DT forums has been experimenting with that lately (not sure what his handle is on here, but he has more than a dozen implants so he's certainly here somewhere.) He used the recently produced xG3, which is encapsulated in glass and injected with a syringe, and implanted it in his tragus. He said he got pretty good sound quality when he made a somewhat janky amplifier/coil necklace.

    I would advise against DIY tragus implant. You should at least get another person to help you out. If the format is an injector it'll be a bit easier. Also, it seems like there's fewer nerve endings around there than in a hand, so topical anesthetic will probably work if you let it sit long enough to penetrate. Just be super careful applying force with sharp things around your ears. You need them for hearing, and stuff.

    I was looking into getting two xG3's for this purpose, but they're out of stock for the time being and the reason I need these is time sensitive. I'll definitely have a friend there to lend a hand but there's few people I trust to be using a scalpel around my ear, haha.

    Also, considering the size of the xG3 as a lifting magnet, would it be more efficient to use smaller magnets for the implant? Not to mention I'd imagine you'd be able to get it much closer to the inside of the ear which would maybe allow for clearer quality and a smaller power consumption to create the same level of vibration. I wish Vicarious had posted a video because at this point I think I'm going to treat it like a fingertip implant, in terms of depth.

  • edited August 6
    While you wait for the second batch of xG3, get some magnet wire and a cheap amplifier breakout board online and try it out. You can just put a small magnet in your ear canal. Let us know how it turns out.
  • @Satur9 said:
    While you wait for the second batch of xG3, get some magnet wire and a cheap amplifier breakout board online and try it out. You can just put a small magnet in your ear canal. Let us know how it turns out.

    Ordered all the parts, except for the amplifier breakout board. I don't know too much about microcontrollers so I'm having trouble finding one that suits my needs (has audio jack, can be powered with 9 volt battery). I'll keep looking, but if anyone has some advice/tips or just knows more about microcontrollers, feel free to point me in the right direction!

  • Hey @trroyyc

    I saw your post on DT. Here's the amplifier board that Vicarious used (Velleman PMK190)
    https://www.amazon.com/Velleman-MK190-2X5W-Amplifier-Player/dp/B007K2N0ZI

    You'll also need some magnet wire to wind into a coil. Some 20AWG should be fine.
  • @Satur9 said:
    Hey @trroyyc

    I saw your post on DT. Here's the amplifier board that Vicarious used (Velleman PMK190)
    https://www.amazon.com/Velleman-MK190-2X5W-Amplifier-Player/dp/B007K2N0ZI

    You'll also need some magnet wire to wind into a coil. Some 20AWG should be fine.

    You are an angel. A true saint. Thank you so much!! I purchased everything else, got some 30AWG magnet wire so I should be able to make a pretty powerful solenoid.

  • I have an xG3 on the way. I'm going to have it installed in the tragus for sound transmission. I'll let you know how it goes. Keep us updated on yours. We should keep this thread going with details, because I know a couple people have been asking about this recently.
  • Just got done with the magnet implantation. We decided it would interesting to experiment with the placement of the magnets, so my right one is deeper into my tragus, parallel and relatively close to my ear canal, while my left one is more superficial to my tragus and slightly farther from my ear canal than the right one. My amp board came in today so I'll give it maybe two weeks of healing before I start to experiment with the solenoid. Will keep this updated!

  • edited August 23

    Update: I just placed an order for an xG3. I'm going to remove one of the ones I currently have, let it heal, and install the xG3 so I can compare typical disc 3mm*1mm n52's with the xG3.

    With one in each ear, I think it should be easier for me to give less biased reports of disc magnets vs the xG3, since otherwise we would be trying to compare our subjective experiences. If the xG3 proves to be more efficient then the disc magnet I currently have, I'll replace that one too.

    I should have thought about this before implanting the discs in both ears, but I was only just aware that the xG3's were back in stock. Oh well!

  • I love this idea. I'm interested in trying a non-surgical version of this, by placing a disk magnet on the hairless area behind the ear and using Pros-Aide (a somewhat permanent skin adhesive) to keep it there. This would actually be bone conduction, but I have no idea how well it would work.

  • @CodeRedBerryBomb

    Thanks for the heads up on the Pros-Aide. I've never encountered that material before. I'll have to get some and try it out. I've been wanting to create a sub-dermal digital clock implant, but the logistics have been a bit daunting. Maybe v0.1 can be a Pros-Aide adhered unit.
  • Definitely look into it!! I was just checking out the Adhear which is a non-surgical adhesive bone conducting speaker that goes behind the ear. Unfortunately it is a medical device so I can't imagine it would be easy to obtain unless you had hearing loss.

    Regardless, a non-surgical audio relay system would have some traits that could be beneficial over implanted audio relay systems, like tragus implants. If you don't have to worry about toxicity of the magnet, you don't need special coated magnets. Just some non-toxic coating that won't absorb through the skin. You could use any number of sizes and shapes that just aren't feasible for implanting, due to coatings and size/shape restrictions, and it would be a hell of a lot cheaper than the medical grade coatings on the magnets used for implants.

    It MIGHT be more efficient to adhere to magnet to the inside of the ear, but then you'd have more restrictions on size and shape. But if it's inside the ear, I imagine you could get both bone conduction and air vibration. I don't know if that's useful for anything, but it is something to keep in mind.

    In the meantime, I'm gonna take some time to experiment with the two disc magnets I have in the coming weeks, document, then switch one of them out for xG3 and experiment.

  • @trroyyc The Adhear's location and method of attachment is actually what got me thinking about it haha! I've already bought some plain gold-coated magnets, I'm gonna test it with just taping it behind my ear first (as Pros-Aide requires some pretty gnarly removal liquid, it's safe it just would suck if it didnt work at all and I then had to spend 40m trying to get the bastard off).

  • @Satur9 Yeah, Pros-Aide is pretty cool stuff. Make sure to get some of the removal liquid too, otherwise it can and will rip layers of skin off. It's strong. I've not seen any data on exactly how long it will last though, it will come off eventually due to the replacement of skin cells. Could be anywhere from a few days to maybe a week or more. But, if this is effective, I'd probably prefer this to surgical methods (I've next to no pain tolerance and blood makes me squeamish, sucks)

  • Anyone have an idea of how many coils to use in my solenoid? It's 30AWG so I can coil it a LOT but I don't know if there's a point where it is too much.

  • @trroyyc
    Working on that, I'll get back to you with results early next week.

    I think it has to with the relationship between the Inductance of the coil, and the resistance of the wire that makes up the coil. The "time constant" of a RL circuit is

    τ = L / R

    It takes 5 time constants for the circuit to transition from full charge to no charge. So I think we want a circuit with a time constant that is ~ 1/5 of the lowest frequency sound we're interested in hearing (60Hz?) So that we have good frequency response and no sounds get drowned out.

    The problem is that the more turns of wire we do the more Inductance, and also the more resistance. They're connected in this case. If the Inductance climbs dramatically higher than the resistance, then we may need to attach a high wattage resistor in series to drop the time constant down to where we need it.

    I'm not certain all of this makes sense for our use case, I'm not an audio engineer. We'll figure it out, though. If anyone has any input on making speakers, please chime in.
  • I implanted an xG3 in my tragus a few weeks ago, and the recovery went well. My install was from the top, so when it healed it migrated upward a bit.

    I bought this amplifier board:
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07GPJG2D5
    The amp outputs 6W. The Bluetooth and battery charging work well. I haven't finished my coil yet. I did some research to find out how they make voice coils. It needs the be large enough to fit around someone's head, and have enough impedance in the target frequency range that it won't get hot. I still need to do more calculations and testing to balance the resistance, inductance, and stray capacitance of the coil to get the correct impedance for this amp.

    I modeled a coil former necklace and 3D printed it. I ended up using some 38AWG magnet wire I had lying around, but getting it to stay in the channel in the coil form is proving to be difficult.

    I put the project aside for a few days due to frustration. I'll let you know how it goes.
  • @CodeRedBerryBomb said:
    @Satur9 Yeah, Pros-Aide is pretty cool stuff. Make sure to get some of the removal liquid too, otherwise it can and will rip layers of skin off. It's strong. I've not seen any data on exactly how long it will last though, it will come off eventually due to the replacement of skin cells. Could be anywhere from a few days to maybe a week or more. But, if this is effective, I'd probably prefer this to surgical methods (I've next to no pain tolerance and blood makes me squeamish, sucks)

    In the end have you experimented with that? It really sounds very interesting what you propose. I still have doubts about the fidelity of the sound, but your idea is really excellent.

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