Anatomy of a Tympanic Membrane

At the request of one of the CellScope team members, we have found a great sketch of the structures the right tympanic membrane. By understanding the anatomy of the ear drum, we hope to better understand the images taken with the CellScope Oto.

The pars flaccida of tympanic membrane or Shrapnell’s membrane is the small, triangular, flaccid portion of the tympanic membrane.

The umbo is the most depressed part of the tympanic membrane.

The malleus is the small, hammer-shaped bone which connects with the incus and is attached to the inner surface of the eardrum. In the sketch we see both the head and the handle of the “hammer”, whereas in the image taken with the CellScope Oto, we only see the handle.

The incus is the small, anvil-shaped bone in the middle ear. The incus transmits sound vibrations from the malleus to the stapes.

The cone of light is in the 5 o’clock position when viewing a normal right ear drum and in the 7 o’clock position for a normal left ear drum. The absence or bent nature of a cone of light can indicate infection.

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