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Biomechanical Modeling and Measurement of Blast Injury and Hearing Protection Mechanisms

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Technical Report,30 Sep 2014,29 Sep 2015

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University of Oklahoma Norman United States

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Objectives of the project are to determine middle ear protective mechanisms and develop the finite element FE model of the human ear for simulating blast injury and assisting designevaluation of HPDs. There are three aims quantify middle ear injury in relation to overpressure level and wave direction using cadaver ears identify middle ear protection mechanisms by detecting middle ear muscle reflex in animals and measuring mechanical properties of ear tissues after exposure develop FE model of human ear to predict middle ear responses to blast and prevention mechanisms of acoustic injury for HPDs. Major findings include 1 overpressure waveforms recorded at the ear canal entrance, near the eardrum, and inside middle ear with the eardrum rupture thresholds 2 EMG measurements of stapedius muscle of chinchillas in response to blast exposure 3mechanical properties of human and chinchilla ear tissues eardrum, incus-stapes joint pre- and post-blast exposure 4 3D FE modeling of blast overpressure transduction from the ear canal to middle ear and the eardrum movement. Results demonstrate biomechanical responses of the ear and changes of its structure and function following blast exposure. Our understanding of blast wave transmission through the ear has been improved significantly through this research project.

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