Miniature, minimally invasive, tunable endoscope for investigation of the middle ear
Pawlowski, Michal E.
Applegate, Brian E.
Oghalai, John S.
Tkaczyk, Tomasz S.
We demonstrate a miniature, tunable, minimally invasive endoscope for diagnosis of the auditory system. The probe is designed to sharply image anatomical details of the middle ear without the need for physically adjusting the position of the distal end of the endoscope. This is achieved through the addition of an electrowetted, tunable, electronically-controlled lens to the optical train. Morphological imaging is enabled by scanning light emanating from an optical coherence tomography system. System performance was demonstrated by imaging part of the ossicular chain and wall of the middle ear cavity of a normal mouse. During the experiment, we electronically moved the plane of best focus from the incudo-stapedial joint to the stapedial artery. Repositioning the object plane allowed us to image anatomical details of the middle ear beyond the depth of field of a static optical system. We also demonstrated for the first time to our best knowledge, that an optical system with an electrowetted, tunable lens may be successfully employed to measure sound-induced vibrations within the auditory system by measuring the vibratory amplitude of the tympanic membrane in a normal mouse in response to pure tone stimuli.