gms | German Medical Science

78th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery

16.05. - 20.05.2007, Munich

Scanning acoustic microscopy of human auditory ossicles affected by otitis media

Meeting Abstract

  • corresponding author Silke Burkert - ENT-Hospital, Halle, Germany
  • Susanne Liebhold - Klinik St. Elisabth und Barbara, Halle, Germany
  • Jörg Brandt - Hospital of Orthopaedics, Halle, Germany
  • Ernst-Juergen Haberland - ENT-Hospital, Halle, Germany
  • Kerstin Neumann - ENT-Hospital, Halle, Germany

German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. 78th Annual Meeting of the German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology, Head and Neck Surgery. Munich, 16.-20.05.2007. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2007. Doc07hno050

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: August 8, 2007

© 2007 Burkert et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Introduction: Scanning Acoustic Microscopy (SAM) is a powerful technique for structure analysis of ear ossicles. The picture-contrast in SAM originates from local differences of the acoustic impedance Z,. A relevant advantage of SAM lies in the two-dimensional illustration of morphological structures. Resolution can be adjusted almost continuously. SAM has considerable advantages compared to nanoindentation. The measurements are non-destructive and repeatable. Two dimensional surface area can be investigated, instead of discrete point. Topographical influences in high frequency measurements are compensated by the use of multi-layer-technique.

Methods: In the present study, the coustic impedance in slices of human ear ossicles affected by cholesteatoma and chronic otitis media mesotympanalis were measured. Measurements were done with the scanning acoustic microscopes KSI SAM 100 and KSI SAM 2000 (Kraemer Scientific Instruments GmbH, Herborn, Germany) at 50 MHz and 200 MHz. The distribution of acoustic impedance of 13 affected mallei and 15 affected inci were measured. The impedance-picture showed the destruction of the normal bone-structure in cholesteatoma with low acoustic impedance (incus: 7,45 ± 0,47 Mrayl,; malleus: 7,39 ± 0,57 Mrayl; normal: 8 Mrayl).

Conclusion: SAM provides unique information with regard to in vitro elastic tissue properties of human ear ossicles affectedby chronic otitis media. The results may contribute to a better understanding of changes of normal structure and conducting hearing loss caused by chronic otitis media.From this standpoint don’t take any affected ossicel for tympanoplasty!.


Burkert S, Haberland EJ, Raum K, Klemenz A, Brandt J, Berghaus A. Tissue characterization of human auditory ossicles by scanning acoustic microscopy. IEEE. 2002:1273-76. ISBN 0-7803-7583-1.
Burkert S, Liebhold S, Haberland EJ, Raum K, Brandt J, Bloching M. Scanning Acoustic Microscopy of Human Septal Cartilage. Journal of Technology and Health Care. IOS Press. 2003. ISSN 0928-7329.
Raum K, Brandt J, Klemenza A, Cobet U. Quantitative Ultraschallrastermikroskopie zur Bestimmung der akustischen Impedanz von kortikalem Knochengewebe. Z Med Phys. 1999;9:246-53.