(a)
(b)
(c)
(d)
Figure 2: Reflected light microscopic images of the grinding surface after surface staining with modified staining according to Mann-Dominici. (a) Inside the tympanic cavity the stained tympanic membrane (TM) and incus (I), as well the deeper lying malleus (M) and stapes (S), can be seen. The blood supply is guaranteed by a branch of the anterior tympanic artery inside the plication of the superior malleolar ligament (blue arrow) and inside the anterior malleolar plication with its dividing point to the malleus and incus (red arrow). Additionally, the posterior tympanic artery runs over the incudostapedial joint and emits a branch to the malleus (green arrow). In (b) the superior branch of the anterior tympanic artery follows the plication of the superior tympanic ligament from the tympanic wall (TW) to the head of the malleus (blue arrow). In (c) the entrance of a branch of the posterior tympanic artery emitting to the incus on its medial side through a nutrient foramen is depicted (blue arrow) as well as the blood vessel system inside the malleus and incus (arrowhead). Only the cartilage area inside the incus (asterisk) contains no vessels. In (d) the entrance of a branch of the posterior tympanic artery through a nutrient foramen on the medial side of the malleus can be seen (blue arrow) as well as the blood vessel system inside the malleus and incus (arrowhead). Grinding surfaces after removing (a) 6.106 mm, (b) 7.460 mm, (c) 7.360 mm, and (d) 8.001 mm of the total sample, respectively.