Nanomechanical mapping reveals localized stiffening of the basilar membrane after cochlear implantation.

07:00 EST 16th November 2019 | BioPortfolio

Summary of "Nanomechanical mapping reveals localized stiffening of the basilar membrane after cochlear implantation."

Cochlear implantation leads to many structural changes within the cochlea which can impair residual hearing. In patients with preserved low-frequency hearing, a delayed hearing loss can occur weeks-to-years post-implantation. We explore whether stiffening of the basilar membrane (BM) may be a contributory factor in an animal model. Our objective is to map changes in morphology and Young's modulus of basal and apical areas of the BM after cochlear implantation, using quantitative nanomechanical atomic force microscopy (QNM-AFM) after cochlear implant surgery. Cochlear implantation was undertaken in the guinea pig, and the BM was harvested at four time-points: 1 day, 14 days, 28 days and 84 days post-implantation for QNM-AFM analysis. Auditory brainstem response thresholds were determined prior to implantation and termination. BM tissue showed altered morphology and a progressive increase in Young's modulus, mainly in the apex, over time after implantation. BM tissue from the cochlear base demonstrated areas of extreme stiffness which are likely due to micro-calcification on the BM. In conclusion, stiffening of the BM after cochlear implantation occurs over time, even at sites far apical to a cochlear implant.


Journal Details

This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Hearing research
ISSN: 1878-5891
Pages: 107846


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A basement membrane in the cochlea that supports the hair cells of the ORGAN OF CORTI, consisting keratin-like fibrils. It stretches from the SPIRAL LAMINA to the basilar crest. The movement of fluid in the cochlea, induced by sound, causes displacement of the basilar membrane and subsequent stimulation of the attached hair cells which transform the mechanical signal into neural activity.

The spiral EPITHELIUM containing sensory AUDITORY HAIR CELLS and supporting cells in the cochlea. Organ of Corti, situated on the BASILAR MEMBRANE and overlaid by a gelatinous TECTORIAL MEMBRANE, converts sound-induced mechanical waves to neural impulses to the brain.

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