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Round Window Membrane Motion Induced by Bone Conduction Stimulation at Different Excitation Sites

Methodology of Measurement and Data Analysis in Cadaver Study

Kwacz, Monika1; Niemczyk, Kazimierz2; Wysocki, Jarosław3; Lachowska, Magdalena2; Borkowski, Paweł4; Małkowska, Maria5; Sokołowski, Jacek2

doi: 10.1097/AUD.0000000000000725
Research Articles

Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate the following: (1) the vibration pattern of the round window (RW) membrane in human cadavers during air (AC) and bone conduction (BC) stimulation at different excitation sites; (2) the effect of the stimulation on the fluid volume displacement (VD) at the RW and compare the VD between BC and AC stimulation procedures; (3) the effectiveness of cochlear stimulation by the bone implant at different excitation sites.

Design: The RW membrane vibrations were measured by using a commercial scanning laser Doppler vibrometer. The RW vibration amplitude was recorded at 69 measurement points evenly distributed in the measurement field covering the entire surface of the RW membrane and a part of the surrounding bony surface. RW vibration was induced first with AC and then with BC stimulation through an implant positioned at two sites. The first site was on the skull surface at the squamous part of the temporal bone (implant no. 1), a place typical for bone-anchored hearing aids. The second site was close to the cochlea at the bone forming the ampulla of the lateral semicircular canal (implant no. 2). The displacement amplitude (dP) of the point P on the promontory was determined and used to calculate the relative displacement (drRW) of points on the RW membrane, drRW = dRW − dP. VD parameter was used to analyze the effectiveness of cochlear stimulation by the bone implant screwed at different excitation sites.

Results: RW membrane displacement amplitude of the central part of the RW was similar for AC and BC implant no. 1 stimulation, and for BC implant no. 2 much larger for frequency range >1 kHz. BC implant no. 2 causes a larger displacement amplitude of peripheral parts of the RW and the promontory than AC and BC implant no. 1, and BC implant no. 1 causes larger than AC stimulation. The effect of BC stimulation exceeds that of AC with identical intensity, and that the closer BC stimulation to the otic capsule, the more effective this stimulation is. A significant decrease in the value of VD at the RW is observed for frequencies >2 kHz for both AC and BC stimulation with BC at both locations of the titanium implant placement. For frequencies >1 kHz, BC implant no. 2 leads to a significantly larger VD at the RW compared to BC implant no. 1. Thus, the closer to the otic capsule the BC stimulation is located, the more effective it is.

Conclusions: Experimental conditions allow for an effective acoustic stimulation of the inner ear by an implant screwed to the osseous otic capsule. The mechanical effect of BC stimulation with a titanium implant placed in the bone of the ampulla of the lateral semicircular canal significantly exceeds the effect of an identical stimulation with an implant placed in the temporal squama at a conventional site for an implant anchored in the bone. The developed research method requires the implementation on a larger number of temporal bones in order to obtain data concerning interindividual variability of the observed mechanical phenomena.

1Institute of Micromechanics and Photonics, Warsaw University of Technology, Warsaw, Poland

2Department of Otolaryngology, Medical University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland

3Medical Faculty, Lazarski University, Warsaw, Poland

4Institute of Aeronautics and Applied Mechanics, Warsaw University of Technology, Warsaw, Poland

5Vistula University Warsaw School Tourism and Hospitality Management, Warsaw, Poland.

Received September 11, 2018; accepted February 12, 2019.

M. K. designed and performed experiments, analyzed data and wrote the article. K. N. designed and performed experiments, and wrote the article. J. W. collected data and wrote the article. M. L. reviewed data from all sites and provided interpretative analysis and wrote the article. P. B. analyzed data and wrote the article. M. M. designed experiments and reviewed the article. J. S. collected data and wrote the article. All authors discussed the results and implications and commented on the article at all stages.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Address for correspondence: Magdalena Lachowska MD, PhD, Department of Otolaryngology, Medical University of Warsaw, ul. Banacha 1a, 02-097 Warszawa, Warsaw, Poland. E-mail:

Online date: April 04, 2019

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