Basilar membrane and tectorial membrane stiffness in the CBA/CaJ mouse

I. U. Teudt, C. P. Richter*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The mouse has become an important animal model in understanding cochlear function. Structures, such as the tectorial membrane or hair cells, have been changed by gene manipulation, and the resulting effect on cochlear function has been studied. To contrast those findings, physical properties of the basilar membrane (BM) and tectorial membrane (TM) in mice without gene mutation are of great importance. Using the hemicochlea of CBA/CaJ mice, we have demonstrated that tectorial membrane (TM) and basilar membrane (BM) revealed a stiffness gradient along the cochlea. While a simple spring mass resonator predicts the change in the characteristic frequency of the BM, the spring mass model does not predict the frequency change along the TM. Plateau stiffness values of the TM were 0.6 ± 0.5, 0.2 ± 0.1, and 0.09 ± 0.09 N/m for the basal, middle, and upper turns, respectively. The BM plateau stiffness values were 3.7 ± 2.2, 1.2 ± 1.2, and 0.5 ± 0.5 N/m for the basal, middle, and upper turns, respectively. Estimations of the TM Young's modulus (in kPa) revealed 24.3 ± 25.2 for the basal turns, 5.1 ± 4.5 for the middle turns, and 1.9 ± 1.6 for the apical turns. Young's modulus determined at the BM pectinate zone was 76.8 ± 72, 23.9 ± 30.6, and 9.4 ± 6.2 kPa for the basal, middle, and apical turns, respectively. The reported stiffness values of the CBA/CaJ mouse TM and BM provide basic data for the physical properties of its organ of Corti.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)675-694
Number of pages20
JournalJARO - Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2014


  • basilar membrane
  • best frequency
  • cochlea
  • mice
  • stiffness
  • tectorial membrane

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Sensory Systems


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