Estimation of elastic moduli and bending stiffness of the anisotropic outer hair cell wall

Alexander A. Spector, William E. Brownell, Aleksander S. Popel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The outer hair cell makes both passive and active contributions to basilar membrane mechanics. The outer hair cell mechanics is strongly coupled to the elastic properties of the cell lateral wall. The lateral wall experiences both in-plane deformations and bending under physiological and experimental conditions. To characterize the outer hair cell wall, the model of an orthotopic cylindrical shell is used. The elastic constants of the wall are estimated by solving a set of three equations based on the analyses of three independent experiments. The first equation is derived from a new interpretation of the micropipet experiment; the other two are obtained from the axial loading and the osmotic challenge experiments. The two Young's moduli corresponding to the longitudinal and circumferential directions and two Poisson's ratios are estimated. The longitudinal, circumferential, and mixed modes of the bending stiffness are also estimated. The sensitivity of the derived constants to the variation of the cell axial stiffness, which has been measured by several independent groups, is examined. The new estimates are also compared with results obtained by using the assumption of the wall isotropy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1007-1011
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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