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Strain. 2009 Jun 1;45(3):301-309.

Preliminary Analyses of Tympanic-Membrane Motion from Holographic Measurements.

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Mechanical Engineering Department, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA, USA.


Computer-aided, personal computer (PC) based, optoelectronic holography (OEH) was used to obtain preliminary measurements of the sound-induced displacement of the tympanic membrane (TM) of cadaver cats and chinchillas. Real-time time-averaged holograms, processed at video rates, were used to characterise the frequency dependence of TM displacements as tone frequency was swept from 400 Hz to 20 kHz. Stroboscopic holography was used at selected frequencies to measure, in full-field-of-view, displacements of the TM surface with nanometer resolution. These measurements enable the determination and the characterisation of inward and outward displacements of the TM. The time-averaged holographic data suggest standing wave patterns on the cat's TM surface, which move from simple uni-modal or bi-modal patterns at low frequencies, through complicated multimodal patterns above 3 kHz, to highly ordered arrangements of displacement waves with tone frequencies above 15 kHz. The frequency boundaries of the different wave patterns are lower in chinchilla (simple patterns below 600 Hz, ordered patterns above 4 kHz) than cat. The stroboscopic holography measurements indicate wave-like motion patterns on the TM surface, where the number of wavelengths captured along sections of the TM increased with stimulus frequency with as many as 11 wavelengths visible on the chinchilla TM at 16 kHz. Counts of the visible number of wavelengths on TM sections with different sound stimulus frequency provided estimates of wave velocity along the TM surface that ranged from 5 m s(-1) at frequencies below 8 kHz and increased to 25 m s(-1) by 20 kHz.

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