We report an ex vivo and in vivo experimental study of a device designed to measure tympanic membrane movement under normal and pathological conditions, assessed using optical coherence tomography.
We designed two types of flexible, round film patch with integrated strain gauge, to be attached to the tympanic membrane in order to measure tympanic membrane movement. Tympanic membrane attachment was assessed using optical coherence tomography. The devices were tested experimentally using an ex vivo model with varying middle-ear pressure.
Optical coherence tomography reliably assessed attachment of the film patch to the tympanic membrane, before and after middle-ear pressure changes. Strain gauge voltage changes were directly proportional to middle-ear pressure recordings, for low pressure changes. Tympanic membrane perforations smaller than 2 mm could be sealed off with the film patch.
Attachment of the film patch with integrated strain gauge to the tympanic membrane was not ideal. Nevertheless, the strain gauge was able to precisely detect small pressure changes within the middle ear, in this experimental model.