There is a growing clinical need for improving the non-invasive diagnostic capabilities of middle ear pathologies in vivo. To address this need, Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI), in collaboration with the Eaton Peabody Lab at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary (MEEI), will develop a clinically viable otoscopic imaging system that will employ phase sensitive optical coherence tomography (OCT) to assess three- dimensional structure and sound-induced motion of the middle ear through the intact eardrum. Phase I bench-top testing on human cadaveric temporal bones will include empirical validation of spatial and temporal stability and optimization of the field of view. The PSI/MEEI team will construct a benchtop prototype, acquire and analyze, preliminary data, and continue the development of the imaging hardware and software control. The development of a clinical prototype is proposed in Phase II with tests on selected live subjects and clinic patients.
The central focus of this project is to develop a clinically viable otoscopic imaging system using phase sensitive optical coherence tomography (OCT) that can assess anatomy and sound-induce vibrations of the middle ear through the intact eardrum. The development of OCT otoscopy will enable quantitative and real-time monitoring of middle ear pathologies and treatment outcomes. Such technology would significantly improve the non-invasive differential diagnosis and treatment plans for middle ear disorders.