Alginate Ototoxicity in the Mouse Model

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To determine whether alginate exposure to the round window of the mouse causes any measurable ototoxicity.

Study Design

Prospective animal study.


Basic science laboratory affiliated with a tertiary care university medical center.

Subjects and Methods

After Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee approval, 5 adult mice were obtained and underwent bullostomy and round window niche application of alginate. Auditory brainstem response (ABR) tests were completed at baseline prior to the procedure and also 5, 14, and 30 days postprocedure. Results were compared. At termination of procedure, the mice were sacrificed with harvest of the cochleae, which were viewed under histologic section.


There were no significant increases in ABR thresholds in any of the test animals at all test periods after alginate exposure compared to baseline. There were also no observable behavioral changes after the procedure to indicate vestibular dysfunction. Cochlear sectioning revealed no evidence of histologic damage.


Exposure of alginate to the round window does not cause any obvious ototoxicity in the mouse model. Further clinical trials will be needed to elucidate the effect of alginate in the human middle ear.

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