Nonlinear active force generation by cochlear outer hair cell

Alexander A. Spector, William E. Brownell, Aleksander S. Popel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


We analyze the nonlinear behavior of the longitudinal and circumferential components of the active force generated by the outer hair cell wall in response to changes of its transmembrane potential. We treat the material of the wall as electroelastic, linear orthotropic in terms of strains and as nonlinear in terms of the transmembrane potential. To describe the nonlinear behavior of the active force versus the transmembrane potential, we use two (Boltzmann and simple exponential) types of approximation. We estimate free parameters of these approximations by combining the previously reported passive stiffnesses with the active strains measured in the microchamber experiment. We analyze the sensitivity of the estimated parameters corresponding to changes of the cell axial stiffness, a characteristic independently measured by several groups. We also study the effect of combining the active strains measured in the microchamber experiment with those measured in the whole cell recording experiment. We show agreement between our prediction of the active force and measurements in the whole cochlea and in isolated cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2414-2420
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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