Detailed scan of the inner earjuly 4, 2018
Extremely delicate, the anatomical details of the human inner ear are not easy to study. The cochlea and the semi-circular canals of the vestibular system, responsible for balance, are located deep in the temporal bone. Led by ENT specialist Raymond van de Berg of the Maastricht UMC+, a team of international researchers have made a micro CT scan of the structures in the inner ear. They recorded images of the ears of four deceased persons who had donated their bodies to science after their death.
They published their results in the May issue of Frontiers in Neuroanatomy. In the article, they discuss how this provides more insight into how the inner ear anatomy can vary from one individual to another. This knowledge can help improve the placement of cochlear implants in the inner ear in the future. People who have these implants can often regain their hearing, but the quality of their hearing is often not good enough to enjoy complex music, for example. Thanks to this new technology, this deep organ may be viewed and measured from every angle.