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An advanced computer-aided geometric modeling and fabrication method for human middle ear

Medical Engineering & Physics
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s1350-4533(02)00045-0
  • Middle Ear
  • Geometric Modeling
  • Solid Freeform Fabrication
  • Finite Element Analysis
  • Multibody Dynamic Analysis
  • Ear Anatomy
  • Biology
  • Design
  • Mathematics
  • Medicine


Abstract This paper presents a practical and systematic method for reconstructing accurate computer and physical models of the entire human middle ear. The proposed method starts with the histological section preparation of human temporal bone. Through tracing outlines of the middle ear components on the sections, a set of discrete points is obtained and employed to construct B-spline curves that represent the exterior contours of the components using a curve-fitting technique. The surface-skinning technique is then employed to quilt the B-spline curves for smooth boundary surfaces of the middle ear components using B-spline surfaces. The solid models of the middle ear components are constructed using these surfaces and then assembled to create the entire middle ear in a computer-aided design environment. This method not only provides an effective way to visualize and measure the three-dimensional structure of the middle ear, but also provides a detailed knowledge of middle ear geometry that is required for finite element analysis or multibody dynamic analysis of the human middle ear. In addition, the geometric model constructed using the proposed method is smooth and can be fabricated in various scales using solid freeform fabrication technology. The physical model of the human middle ear is extremely effective in realizing the middle ear anatomy and enhancing discussion and collaboration among researchers and physicians.

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