Finite element modeling of sound transmission with perforations of tympanic membrane

Rong Z. Gan, Tao Cheng, Chenkai Dai, Fan Yang, Mark W. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


A three-dimensional finite element (FE) model of human ear with structures of the external ear canal, middle ear, and cochlea has been developed recently. In this paper, the FE model was used to predict the effect of tympanic membrane (TM) perforations on sound transmission through the middle ear. Two perforations were made in the posterior-inferior quadrant and inferior site of the TM in the model with areas of 1.33 and 0.82 mm2, respectively. These perforations were also created in human temporal bones with the same size and location. The vibrations of the TM (umbo) and stapes footplate were calculated from the model and measured from the temporal bones using laser Doppler vibrometers. The sound pressure in the middle ear cavity was derived from the model and measured from the bones. The results demonstrate that the TM perforations can be simulated in the FE model with geometrical visualization. The FE model provides reasonable predictions on effects of perforation size and location on middle ear transfer function. The middle ear structure-function relationship can be revealed with multi-field coupled FE analysis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-253
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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