Mapping the Histology of the Human Tympanic Membrane by Spatial Domain Optical Coherence TomographyPublic
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The tympanic membrane is one of the major structures of the ear that aids in the hearing process, giving humans one of the five major senses. It is hypothesized that sound induced displacements of the membrane, which allow humans to hear, are directly related to the membrane’s medial layer which is comprised of a network of collagen fibers. Limitations in available medical imaging techniques have thus far inhibited the further study of these fibers. In this paper we detail an imaging system that we developed with the capability to quantitatively and noninvasively image the internal structures of biological tissues in vitro through spatial domain optical coherence tomography (OCT). By utilizing spatial OCT, we can correlate the characteristics of internal collagen fibers to sound induced displacements in the tympanic membrane. This will eventually lead to improved modeling of the middle-ear and a better understanding of hearing mechanics.
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