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J Biophotonics. 2014 Jun;7(6):434-41. doi: 10.1002/jbio.201200186. Epub 2012 Dec 7.

Investigation of the human tympanic membrane oscillation ex vivo by Doppler optical coherence tomography.

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Dresden University of Technology, Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus, Department Clinical Sensoring and Monitoring, Fetscherstra├če 74, 01307 Dresden, Germany.


Investigations of the tympanic membrane (TM) can have an important impact on understanding the sound conduction in the ear and can therefore support the diagnosis and treatment of diseases in the middle ear. High-speed Doppler optical coherence tomography (OCT) has the potential to describe the oscillatory behaviour of the TM surface in a phase-sensitive manner and additionally allows acquiring a three-dimensional image of the underlying structure. With repeated sound stimuli from 0.4 kHz to 6.4 kHz, the whole TM can be set in vibration and the spatially resolved frequency response functions (FRFs) of the tympanic membrane can be recorded. Typical points, such as the umbo or the manubrium of malleus, can be studied separately as well as the TM surface with all stationary and wave-like vibrations. Thus, the OCT methodology can be a promising technique to distinguish between normal and pathological TMs and support the differentiation between ossicular and membrane diseases.


Doppler; optical coherence tomography; tympanic membrane; vibration

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