The effect of blast overpressure on the mechanical properties of a chinchilla tympanic membrane

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Abstract

The rupture of tympanic membrane (TM) has long been viewed as an indicator of blast injury, especially for hearing loss. However, little is known about damage to the TM caused by blast with pressure lower than the rupture threshold. In this paper, we present our study on the effect of blast overpressure on the static mechanical properties of TM. Chinchilla was used as the animal model and exposed to multiple blasts with pressures lower than the rupture threshold of the TM. Using a micro-fringe projection method, we observed the alteration of the static mechanical properties of post-blast chinchilla's TMs as compared to those of control TMs. Specifically, after exposing to multiple blasts, the Young's modulus of chinchilla TM decreased by ˜53% while the ultimate failure pressure decreased by ˜33%. Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) images show the damage formation in the post-blast TM as compared with its control counterpart.

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