Mechano-Biology of the Inner Ear Sensory System
Our laboratory investigates the mechano-transduction of the inner ear — how the inner ear selects and amplifies external stimuli. Inner ear sensory cells are called mechanoelectric transducers because they are mechanically stimulated by surrounding soft tissues or fluid to generate electric signals. We focus on the mechanical interaction between inner ear sensory cells and their surrounding structures. Computational and experimental methods are combined for our research. Various engineering and biological principles are incorporated such as structural acoustics, micro-fluidics, microelectromechanical systems, and electrophysiology.
Our goal is to:
- Contribute to understanding sensorineural hearing and balance disorders
- Provide new insights for the design of biologically inspired mechano-transduction sensors and prosthetics
Multi-scaled computational model of cochlear mechano-transduction. Acoustic energy travels along the cochlear duct (left) to eventually activate the transduction channel (right). We will identify the role of the OHC during forward and reverse transduction between the transduction channels and the cochlear duct. Our focus is on the OHCs in this forward and backward energy transfer.
- Underestimated sensitivity of mammalian cochlear hair cells due to splay between stereociliary columns.Biophys J. 108, 2633-47. (2015 Jun 02).
- Two-compartment passive frequency domain cochlea model allowing independent fluid coupling to the tectorial and basilar membranes.J Acoust Soc Am. 137, 1117-25. (2015 Mar 01).
- Power dissipation in the subtectorial space of the mammalian cochlea is modulated by inner hair cell stereocilia.Biophys J. 108, 479-88. (2015 Feb 03).