Otoscopic profilometry: a new optical technique to quantitatively measure human eardrum deformation in-vivo, in 3D and in real-time. 01/01/2019 - 31/12/2020

Abstract

The 3D shape of the human eardrum plays a crucial role in the process of sound transmission and any structural change to its topography is an important indicator for existing or impending middle ear pathology and subsequent hearing loss. This POC-project includes the prototyping of a new non-invasive medical device, capable of measuring high-resolution eardrum deformation in 3D and in real-time.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Otoscopic profilometry: a new optical technique to quantitatively measure human eardrum deformation in-vivo, in 3D and in real-time. 01/10/2018 - 30/09/2021

Abstract

The human eardrum is a conically shaped thin membrane which separates the outer ear from the middle ear. It conducts sound vibrations from the external ear canal to the ossicles and protects the middle ear from infections. The 3D shape of the eardrum plays a crucial role in this process and any structural change to its topography is an important indicator for existing or impending pathology or hearing impairment. In previous work, I have demonstrated that 3D shape data of a cadaveric human eardrum can be obtained by using a modified clinical otoscope that simultaneously projects structured light patterns onto the eardrum and records them with a digital camera, placed at a relative angle to the projection axis. By employing a high-speed camera and by using parallel programming techniques, the digital processing pipeline is sufficiently fast to extract full-field surface shape deformations of a dye-coated eardrum in real-time. In the proposed research project, I will redesign both the optical imaging engine and the hardware setup of the otoscopic device to increase its imaging resolution when applied to uncoated eardrums. This way, the non-invasive imaging technique can be employed in the clinical setup and dynamic 3D eardrum shape data of living patients can be gathered for the first time. I will validate tympano-topography as a diagnostic tool in the ENT-office in the detection of early-stage middle ear inflammation, cholesteatoma and Eustachian tube (dys)functioning.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Otoscopic profilometry: a new optical technique to quantitatively measure human eardrum deformation in 3D and in real-time. 01/01/2018 - 31/12/2020

Abstract

The human eardrum is a conically shaped thin membrane which separates the outer ear from the middle ear. It conducts sound vibrations from the external ear canal to the ossicles and protects the middle ear from infections. The 3D shape of the eardrum plays a crucial role in this process and any structural change to its topography is an important indicator for existing or impending pathology or hearing impairment. In the proposed research project, I will develop a new technique to measure 3D eardrum deformations in living patients. Using a modified clinical otoscope, structured light patterns will be projected onto the eardrum, after which the patterns are deformed by the eardrum's surface shape. When observed by a digital camera, placed at a relative angle to the projection axis, full-field depth data can be extracted from the deformation of the light patterns. By employing a high-speed camera and state-of-the-art parallel programming techniques, the digital processing pipeline will be sufficiently fast to enable real-time monitoring of eardrum surface shape deformations that are caused by (controlled) pressure changes in the middle ear cavity. Fundamental properties of eardrum mechanics and practical applicability in the clinical setup will be investigated. The new otological device will be validated in the ENT office as a diagnostic tool in the detection of early-stage middle ear inflammation, retraction pockets, cholesteatoma and Eustachian tube (dys)functioning.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Development and validation of a handheld 3D-otoscope. 01/04/2018 - 31/03/2019

Abstract

The human eardrum is a conically shaped thin membrane that separates the outer ear from the middle ear. It conducts sound vibrations from the external ear canal to the ossicles and protects the middle ear from infections. The 3D shape of the eardrum plays a crucial role in this process and any structural change to its topography is an important indicator for existing or impending pathology or hearing impairment. An accurate, quantitative technique to measure 3D deformation of the membrane in-vivo is however still missing. Continuing on the research that I have conducted during my PhD and during the first two years of my post-doctoral postition, I will develop a new optical measurement technique to measure eardrum deformations in 3D, in real-time and with high resolution in living patients. Based on previously published results (see 2017 bibliography), we can show that in order to implement 'structured light profilometry' techniques in a miniaturised optical setup such as a handheld otoscopic device, we have to replace the 3-or 4-phase shifting technique with one that only requires a single pattern to be projected on the target surface, per 3D measurement. To facilitate this, we are developing a novel correspondence technique based on deep learning pattern recognition to link input fringe patterns to output surface models directly. By employing a highspeed camera and state-of-the-art parallel programming techniques, the digital processing pipeline will be sufficiently fast to enable real-time monitoring of eardrum surface shape deformations that are caused by (controlled) pressure changes in the middle ear cavity. Both fundamental properties of eardrum mechanics and practical applicability in the clinical setup will be investigated. The new otological device will be validated in the ENT office as a diagnostic tool in the detection of early-stage middle ear inflammation, retraction pockets, cholesteatoma and Eustachian tube (dys)functioning.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Optical methods for quantitative measurement of eardrum deformation as a new tool for evaluation of Eustachian tube function and eardrum elasticity 01/04/2016 - 31/03/2017

Abstract

The human eardrum is a conically shaped thin membrane that separates the outer ear from the middle ear. It conducts sound vibrations from the external ear canal to the ossicles and protects the middle ear from infections. The 3D shape of the eardrum plays a crucial role in this process and any structural change to its topography is an important indicator for existing or impending pathology or hearing impairment. In this research project, I will develop a new technique to measure 3D eardrum deformations in living patients. Using a modified clinical otoscope, structured light patterns will be projected onto the eardrum, after which the patterns are deformed by the eardrum's surface shape. When observed by a digital camera placed at a relative angle to the projection axis, fullfield depth data can be extracted from the deformation of the light patterns. By employing a highspeed camera and state-of-the-art parallel programming techniques, the digital processing pipeline will be sufficiently fast to enable real-time monitoring of eardrum surface shape deformations that are caused by (controlled) pressure changes in the middle ear cavity. Both fundamental properties of eardrum mechanics and practical applicability in the clinical setup will be investigated. The new otological device will be validated in the ENT office as a diagnostic tool in the detection of early-stage middle ear inflammation, retraction pockets, cholesteatoma and Eustachian tube (dys)functioning.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

Optical methods for quantitative measurement of eardrum deformation as a new tool for evaluation of Eustachian tube function and eardrum elasticity. 01/10/2015 - 30/09/2018

Abstract

The human eardrum is a conically shaped thin membrane which separates the outer ear from the middle ear. It conducts sound vibrations from the external ear canal to the ossicles and protects the middle ear from infections. The 3D shape of the eardrum plays a crucial role in this process and any structural change to its topography is an important indicator for existing or impending pathology or hearing impairment. In the proposed research project, I will develop a new technique to measure 3D eardrum deformations in living patients. Using a modified clinical otoscope, structured light patterns will be projected onto the eardrum, after which the patterns are deformed by the eardrum's surface shape. When observed by a digital camera placed at a relative angle to the projection axis, fullfield depth data can be extracted from the deformation of the light patterns. By employing a highspeed camera and state-of-the-art parallel programming techniques, the digital processing pipeline will be sufficiently fast to enable real-time monitoring of eardrum surface shape deformations that are caused by (controlled) pressure changes in the middle ear cavity. Both fundamental properties of eardrum mechanics and practical applicability in the clinical setup will be investigated. The new otological device will be validated in the ENT office as a diagnostic tool in the detection of early-stage middle ear inflammation, retraction pockets, cholesteatoma and Eustachian tube (dys)functioning.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

New diagnostic technique for measuring eardrum deformations based on endoscopic profilometry with realtime distortion correction using graphics processing units. 01/10/2013 - 30/09/2015

Abstract

In this project, we will develop a novel procedure to generate distortion corrected endoscope images and combine this technique with graphics card programming to implement a new diagnostic medical tool for measuring eardrum deformations in real-time and in vivo. As my endoscopic profilometry technique is fully non-invasive, it will be very easy to introduce the new technique in the clinical setting once its possibilities have been demonstrated.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)

New diagnostic technique for measuring eardrum deformations based on endoscopic profilometry with real-time distortion correction using graphics processing units. 01/10/2011 - 30/09/2013

Abstract

In this project, we will develop a novel procedure to generate distortion corrected endoscope images and combine this technique with graphics card programming to implement a new diagnostic medical tool for measuring eardrum deformations in real-time and in vivo. As my endoscopic profilometry technique is fully non-invasive, it will be very easy to introduce the new technique in the clinical setting once its possibilities have been demonstrated.

Researcher(s)

Research team(s)