Estimation of elastic moduli and bending stiffness of the anisotropic outer hair cell wall

J Acoust Soc Am. 1998 Feb;103(2):1007-11. doi: 10.1121/1.421217.


The outer hair cell makes both passive and active contributions to basilar membrane mechanics. The outer hair cell mechanics is strongly coupled to the elastic properties of the cell lateral wall. The lateral wall experiences both in-plane deformations and bending under physiological and experimental conditions. To characterize the outer hair cell wall, the model of an orthotropic cylindrical shell is used. The elastic constants of the wall are estimated by solving a set of three equations based on the analyses of three independent experiments. The first equation is derived from a new interpretation of the micropipet experiment; the other two are obtained from the axial loading and the osmotic challenge experiments. The two Young's moduli corresponding to the longitudinal and circumferential directions and two Poisson's ratios are estimated. The longitudinal, circumferential, and mixed modes of the bending stiffness are also estimated. The sensitivity of the derived constants to the variation of the cell axial stiffness, which has been measured by several independent groups, is examined. The new estimates are also compared with results obtained by using the assumption of the wall isotropy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Anisotropy
  • Elasticity
  • Hair Cells, Auditory, Outer / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological