Determination of the Mechanical Properties in the Avian Middle Ear by Inverse Analysis

P. Muyshondt[1], J. Soons[1], D. de Greef[1], J. Peacock[1], J. Dirckx[1]
[1]University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium
Published in 2014

The middle ear of birds is a fascinating mechanical system, as it contains only one bony ossicle, compared to three in mammals, yet its auditory performance is not substantially worse. Its design resembles some currently used middle ear prostheses, so the understanding of its working could improve the treatment of some forms of hearing impairment. We have constructed a finite element model of a duck middle ear in the COMSOL Multiphysics® software, based on micro-CT. Simulations were performed using the Structural Mechanics module and the parameters were optimized using the LiveLink™ for MATLAB®. Validation data was gathered from two different optical measurements (Laser Doppler Vibrometry and Stroboscopic Holography) of vibrating middle ear structures, in response to single-frequency sound inputs.