Chinese Journal of Theoretical and Applied Mechani ›› 2008, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (1): 107-113.DOI: 10.6052/0459-1879-2008-1-2007-051

• Research paper • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Numerical modeling of human ear for sound transmission

Yingxi Liu Sheng Li Xiuzhen Sun   

  1. State Key Laboratory of Structural Analysis for Industrial Equipment, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China State Key Laboratory of Structural Analysis for Industrial Equipment, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China Ear Nose & Throat Department, The Second Affiliated Hospital of Dalian Medical University, Dalian 116025, China
  • Received:2007-01-22 Revised:2007-04-29 Online:2008-01-25 Published:2007-12-25

Abstract: A complete finite element model of the human ear can provide better understanding of sound transmission. In this paper, a three-dimensional finite element model of the human ear is established, including the external ear canal, tympanic membrane, ossicular bones, middle ear suspensory ligaments/muscles, and inner ear fluid. This model is constructed based on a complete set of computerized tomography section images of a healthy volunteer (right ear) to describe the complicated structures and boundary conditions. The validity of this model is confirmed by comparing the model-predicted motion of the tympanic membrane and stapes footplate with published experimental data. The acoustic-structural coupled finite element analysis among the ear canal, middle ear ossicles and inner ear fluid is conducted and employed to predict the effects of ear canal, incudostapeblial joint and cochlear fluid on sound transmission mechanics. The results revealed that the final model is reasonable in predicting the ear acoustic mechanical properties.

Key words: Ear mechanics, Finite element modeling, Sound pressure gain, Acoustic-structural coupled analysis, Ossicular chain