Micro- and nanomechanics of the cochlear outer hair cell

W. E. Brownell, A. A. Spector, R. M. Raphael, Aleksander S Popel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Outer hair cell electromotility is crucial for the amplification, sharp frequency selectivity, and nonlinearities of the mammalian cochlea. Current modeling efforts based on morphological, physiological, and biophysical observations reveal transmembrane potential gradients and membrane tension as key independent variables controlling the passive and active mechanics of the cell. The cell's mechanics has been modeled on the microscale using a continuum approach formulated in terms of effective (cellular level) mechanical and electric properties. Another modeling approach is nanostructural and is based on the molecular organization of the cell's membranes and cytoskeleton. It considers interactions between the components of the composite cell wall and the molecular elements within each of its components. The methods and techniques utilized to increase our understanding of the central role outer hair cell mechanics plays in hearing are also relevant to broader research questions in cell mechanics, cell motility, and cell transduction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)169-194
Number of pages26
JournalAnnual Review of Biomedical Engineering
Volume3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Outer Auditory Hair Cells
Nanomechanics
Micromechanics
Mechanics
Cells
Cochlea
Audition
Cell membranes
Cytoskeleton
Membrane Potentials
Cell Wall
Hearing
Cell Movement
Amplification
Electric properties
Cell Membrane
Membranes
Mechanical properties
Composite materials
Research

Keywords

  • Computational models
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Electromechanical transduction
  • Electromotility
  • Flexoelectricity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics

Cite this

Micro- and nanomechanics of the cochlear outer hair cell. / Brownell, W. E.; Spector, A. A.; Raphael, R. M.; Popel, Aleksander S.

In: Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering, Vol. 3, 2001, p. 169-194.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Brownell, W. E. ; Spector, A. A. ; Raphael, R. M. ; Popel, Aleksander S. / Micro- and nanomechanics of the cochlear outer hair cell. In: Annual Review of Biomedical Engineering. 2001 ; Vol. 3. pp. 169-194.
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