Publications by authors named "Dimitrios Fafalis"

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Membrane curvature and connective fiber alignment in guinea pig round window membrane.

Acta Biomater 2021 Sep 24. Epub 2021 Sep 24.

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University, 220 Mudd Building 500 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027, USA; Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY 10032, USA. Electronic address:

The round window membrane (RWM) covers an opening between the perilymph fluid-filled inner ear space and the air-filled middle ear space. As the only non-osseous barrier between these two spaces, the RWM is an ideal candidate for aspiration of perilymph for diagnostics purposes and delivery of medication for treatment of inner ear disorders. Routine access across the RWM requires the development of new surgical tools whose design can only be optimized with a thorough understanding of the RWM's structure and properties. The RWM possesses a layer of collagen and elastic fibers so characterization of the distribution and orientation of these fibers is essential. Confocal and two-photon microscopy were conducted on intact RWMs in a guinea pig model to characterize the distribution of collagen and elastic fibers. The fibers were imaged via second-harmonic-generation, autofluorescence, and Rhodamine B staining. Quantitative analyses of both fiber orientation and geometrical properties of the RWM uncovered a significant correlation between mean fiber orientations and directions of zero curvature in some portions of the RWM, with an even more significant correlation between the mean fiber orientations and linear distance along the RWM in a direction approximately parallel to the cochlear axis. The measured mean fiber directions and dispersions can be incorporated into a generalized structure tensor for use in the development of continuum anisotropic mechanical constitutive models that in turn will enable optimization of surgical tools to access the cochlea. STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE: The Round Window Membrane (RWM) is the only non-osseous barrier separating the middle and inner ear spaces, and thus is an ideal portal for medical access to the cochlea. An understanding of RWM structure and mechanical response is necessary to optimize the design of surgical tools for this purpose. The RWM geometry and the connective fiber orientation and dispersion are measured via confocal and 2-photon microscopy. A region of the RWM geometry is characterized as a hyperbolic paraboloid and another region as a tapered parabolic cylinder. Predominant fiber directions correlate well with directions of zero curvature in the hyperbolic paraboloid region. Overall fiber directions correlate well with position along a line approximately parallel to the central axis of the cochlea's spiral.
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September 2021