Characterization of the nonlinear elastic behavior of chinchilla tympanic membrane using micro-fringe projection

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The mechanical properties of an intact, full tympanic membrane (TM) inside the bulla of a fresh chinchilla were measured under quasi-static pressure from −1.0 kPa to 1.0 kPa applied on the TM lateral side. Images of the fringes projected onto the TM were acquired by a digital camera connected to a surgical microscope and analyzed using a phase-shift method to reconstruct the surface topography. The relationship between the applied pressure and the resulting volume displacement was determined and analyzed using a finite element model implementing a hyperelastic 2nd-order Ogden model. Through an inverse method, the best-fit model parameters for the TM were determined to allow the simulation results to agree with the experimental data. The nonlinear stress-strain relationship for the TM of a chinchilla was determined up to an equibiaxial tensile strain of 31% experienced by the TM in the experiments. The average Young's modulus of the chinchilla TM from ten bullas was determined as approximately 19 MPa.

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