A comprehensive model of human ear for analysis of implantable hearing devices.

Research paper by Xiangming X Zhang, Rong Z RZ Gan

Indexed on: 29 Jun '11Published on: 29 Jun '11Published in: IEEE transactions on bio-medical engineering


A finite element (FE) model of the human ear including the ear canal, middle ear, and spiral cochlea was constructed from histological sections of human temporal bone. Multiphysics analysis of the acoustics, structure, and fluid coupling in the ear was conducted in the model. The viscoelastic material behavior was applied to the middle ear soft tissues based on dynamic measurements of tissues in our laboratory. The FE model was first validated using the experimental data obtained in human cadaver ears, and then used to investigate the efficiency of the forward and reverse mechanical driving with middle ear implant, and the passive vibration of basilar membrane (BM) with cochlear implant placed in the cochlear scala tympani. The middle ear transfer function and the cochlear function of the BM vibration were derived from the model. This comprehensive ear model provides a novel computational tool to visualize and compute the implantable hearing devices and surgical procedures.