Surface Motion Changes of Tympanic Membrane Damaged by Blast Waves

[+] Author and Article Information
Rong Gan

Professor of Biomedical Engineering, School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, University of Oklahoma, 865 Asp Avenue, Room 200, Norman, OK 73019

Shangyuan Jiang

Biomedical Engineering Laboratory, School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4044052 History: Received February 19, 2019; Revised June 14, 2019


Eardrum or tympanic membrane (TM) is a multi-layer soft tissue membrane located at the end of the ear canal to receive sound pressure and transport the sound into the middle ear and cochlea. Recent studies reported that the TM microstructure and mechanical properties varied after the ear was exposed to blast overpressure. However, the impact of such biomechanical changes of the TM on its movement for sound transmission has not been investigated. This paper reports the full-field surface motion of the human TM using the scanning laser Doppler vibrometry in human temporal bones under normal and post-blast conditions. An increase of the TM displacement after blast exposure was observed in the posterior region of the TM in four temporal bone samples at the frequencies between 3-4 kHz. A finite element model of human TM with multilayer microstructure and orthogonal fiber network was created to simulate the TM damaged by blast waves. The consistency between the experimental data and the model-derived TM surface motion suggests that the tissue injuries were resulted from a combination of mechanical property change and regional discontinuity of collagen fibers. This study provides the evidences of surface motion changes of the TM damaged by blast waves and possible fiber damage locations.

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