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BioMed Research International
Volume 2014, Article ID 485783, 7 pages
Research Article

Reconstruction of Cochlea Based on Micro-CT and Histological Images of the Human Inner Ear

1Institute of Communications and Computer Systems (ICCS), National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), 9 Iroon Polytechniou Street, 15773 Zografou, Greece
2Unit of Medical Technology and Intelligent Information Systems, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Ioannina, 45110 Ioannina, Greece
3First Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, University of Athens, Ippokrateio Hospital, Vas. Sofias Avenue, 11527 Athens, Greece
4UCL Ear Institute, 332 Grays Inn Road, London WC1X 8EE, UK
5Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Technical University of Munich, Arcisstraße 21, 80333 Munich, Germany

Received 9 May 2014; Accepted 1 June 2014; Published 3 August 2014

Academic Editor: Nenad Filipovic

Copyright © 2014 Christos Bellos et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The study of the normal function and pathology of the inner ear has unique difficulties as it is inaccessible during life and, so, conventional techniques of pathologic studies such as biopsy and surgical excision are not feasible, without further impairing function. Mathematical modelling is therefore particularly attractive as a tool in researching the cochlea and its pathology. The first step towards efficient mathematical modelling is the reconstruction of an accurate three dimensional (3D) model of the cochlea that will be presented in this paper. The high quality of the histological images is being exploited in order to extract several sections of the cochlea that are not visible on the micro-CT (mCT) images (i.e., scala media, spiral ligament, and organ of Corti) as well as other important sections (i.e., basilar membrane, Reissner membrane, scala vestibule, and scala tympani). The reconstructed model is being projected in the centerline of the coiled cochlea, extracted from mCT images, and represented in the 3D space. The reconstruction activities are part of the SIFEM project, which will result in the delivery of an infrastructure, semantically interlinking various tools and libraries (i.e., segmentation, reconstruction, and visualization tools) with the clinical knowledge, which is represented by existing data, towards the delivery of a robust multiscale model of the inner ear.