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Audiol > Volume 9(2); 2013 > Article
Audiology 2013;9(2): 95-112.
Published online: December 31, 2013.
doi: http://doi.org/10.21848/audiol.2013.9.2.95
Diagnosis and Characterization of Middle-ear and Cochlear Functions
Rong Z Gan
Biomedical and Mechanical Engineering, University of Oklahoma, OK, USA
Correspondence  Rong Z Gan ,Tel: 1-405-325-1099, Email: rgan@ou.edu
Received: November 28, 2013;  Accepted: November 30, 2013.  Published online: December 31, 2013.
Hearing impairment is one of the most common physical disabilities in the world. Conductive hearing loss results from dysfunction of the middle ear, and sensorineural hearing loss results from abnormalities within the cochlea or central nervous system. To improve the diagnosis of hearing loss and develop new technologies for restoration of hearing, changes of the middle ear and cochlear functions in relation to ear structural disorders in hearing impaired ears need to be characterized. This paper summarizes our biomedical engineering approach to characterize the middle ear and cochlear functions in normal and diseased ears. With the experimental measurements in human temporal bones and animal models and the finite element (FE) modeling of the human ear, a better understanding of biomechanics of the ear for sound transmission is achieved. The acoustic-mechanical vibration and energy transmission through the middle ear in normal and diseased ears can be visualized and quantified in a 3-dimensional FE model. Four novel model-derived “auditory test curves” named as the middle ear transfer function, energy absorbance, admittance tympanogram, and tympanic membrane holography are generated with clinically relevant applications.
Key Words: Cochlea, Ear biomechanics, Finite element model, Hearing loss, Laser vibrometry, Middle ear, Middle ear disorder
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