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Tympanic Membrane Restoration with Biomimetic ScaffoldsLeft:"FEM mesh of a tympanic membrane"; Middle:"Tympanic Membrane with LDV focus on Umbo"; Right: "SLDV vibrations of a tympanic membrane scaffold"; All pictures icensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

Tympanic Membrane Restoration with Biomimetic Scaffolds

Closure and restoration of the tympanic membrane is crucial for hearing restoration. Most defects can be successfully closed with autologous tissue patches. Due to unknown tissue properties, a compromise between function and stability of the reconstruction is needed to be found by the surgeon. As an alternative, synthetic materials like biopolymers (PCL, PLA, PEOT/PBT) and various structures are being investigated, aiming for consistently good and reproducible results in the restoration of tympanic membrane defects.

Different available tissue engineering technologies like electrospinning, fused deposition modeling and melt electrospinning writing allow different approaches for eardrum closure. Finite element method modelling in the micro- and macroscale is utilized for further development and optimization. For a comparison of the vibration behaviour of the scaffolds and human tympanic membranes, their sound transfer function is acquired with scanning laser Doppler vibrometry and optical coherence tomography. So far, first results show, that the vibration properties of the tympanic membrane scaffolds can be tuned to be comparable to those of human tympanic membranes