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Three-dimensional guinea pig and pigeon inner ear reconstruction

30 November 2009

PhD ceremony: R. Hofman, 14.45 uur, Academiegebouw, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

Thesis: Three-dimensional guinea pig and pigeon inner ear reconstruction

Promotor(s): H.P. Wit, prof.dr. B.F.A.M. van der Laan

Faculty: Medical Sciences

Contact: spokesperson UMCG, tel. +31 (0)50-361 2200, e-mail:

New possibilities for three-dimensional inner ear reconstruction

By reviewing the evolution of the inner ear fluid spaces with the help of the historical work of Retzius (1842-1919) ‘Das Gehörorgan der Wirbelthiere; morphologisch-histologische Studien, 1881, 1884’ and the three dimensional (3D) reconstruction of both endolymphatic and perilymphatic spaces of guinea pig and pigeon we researched both morphology and physiology of these spaces, hoping to gain any knowledge about the histopathological basis of Menière’s disease.

3D-reconstructions of the guinea pig inner ear made of light microscopy (LM) were compared to 3D-reconstructions made of Orthogonal Plane Fluorescence Optical Sectioning (OPFOS)-microscopy. The fact that the specimen prepared for OPFOS-microscopy stays completely intact makes it very suitable for 3D-reconstructions.

The round window membrane and the cochlear aqueduct of the guinea pig are shown in 3D with OPFOS-microscopy. The pouch-like extension of the membrane ends in the cochlear aqueduct.

Bast’s valve, together with the utricular duct is 3D reconstructed in guinea pig. The valve itself is an arch-like structure.

A model in which the endolymphatic fluidpresure in the endolymphatic sinus is compared to perilymphatic pressure is presented.

Unique 3D reconstructions on basis of both OPFOS and LM microscopy of the complete pigeon inner ear are presented. The presence of a Bast’s valve in pigeon is dicussed.

Taking both the advantages and the disadvantages of both methodes into account, the combination of the two in reconstructing the guinea pig and pigeon inner ear in three dimensions gives us most information. In the future we hope to show human inner ears with these methodes.

Last modified:15 September 2017 3.38 p.m.
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