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Research Papers: Imaging

Quantitative polarized light microscopy of unstained mammalian cochlear sections

[+] Author Affiliations
Neil M. Kalwani

Harvard Medical School, Department of Otology and Laryngology, 25 Shattuck Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02115

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Department of Otolaryngology, 243 Charles Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02114

Cheng Ai Ong

Harvard Medical School, Department of Otology and Laryngology, 25 Shattuck Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02115

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Department of Otolaryngology, 243 Charles Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02114

Hospital Queen Elizabeth, ENT Department, KarungBerkunci No. 2029, 88586 Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Andrew C. Lysaght, Konstantina M. Stankovic

Harvard Medical School, Department of Otology and Laryngology, 25 Shattuck Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02115

Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Department of Otolaryngology, 243 Charles Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02114

Harvard/Massachusetts Institute of Technology Joint Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Program in Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139

Simon J. Haward

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139

Centro de Estudos de Fenómenos de Transporte, Faculdade de Engenharia da Universidade do Porto, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal

Gareth H. McKinley

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139

J. Biomed. Opt. 18(2), 026021 (Feb 13, 2013). doi:10.1117/1.JBO.18.2.026021
History: Received November 18, 2012; Revised January 22, 2013; Accepted January 23, 2013
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Abstract.  Hearing loss is the most common sensory deficit in the world, and most frequently it originates in the inner ear. Yet, the inner ear has been difficult to access for diagnosis because of its small size, delicate nature, complex three-dimensional anatomy, and encasement in the densest bone in the body. Evolving optical methods are promising to afford cellular diagnosis of pathologic changes in the inner ear. To appropriately interpret results from these emerging technologies, it is important to characterize optical properties of cochlear tissues. Here, we focus on that characterization using quantitative polarized light microscopy (qPLM) applied to unstained cochlear sections of the mouse, a common animal model of human hearing loss. We find that the most birefringent cochlear materials are collagen fibrils and myelin. Retardance of the otic capsule, the spiral ligament, and the basilar membrane are substantially higher than that of other cochlear structures. Retardance of the spiral ligament and the basilar membrane decrease from the cochlear base to the apex, compared with the more uniform retardance of other structures. The intricate structural details revealed by qPLM of unstained cochlear sections ex vivo strongly motivate future application of polarization-sensitive optical coherence tomography to human cochlea in vivo.

Figures in this Article
© 2013 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers

Citation

Neil M. Kalwani ; Cheng Ai Ong ; Andrew C. Lysaght ; Simon J. Haward ; Gareth H. McKinley, et al.
"Quantitative polarized light microscopy of unstained mammalian cochlear sections", J. Biomed. Opt. 18(2), 026021 (Feb 13, 2013). ; http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.JBO.18.2.026021


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