Massachusetts Eye and Ear
WPI researchers and Massachusetts Eye and Ear are currently conducting novel research on the fracture mechanics of the Tympanic Membrane (TM) in real-time through high-speed optical techniques. We designed, constructed, and characterized an ultra-high-speed shock tube to produce controlled acoustic shock waves, enabling accurate and repeatable investigations on the mechanics of the TM at high loading rates. Rankine-Hugoniot relations and computational fluid dynamics were used to predict the device behavior, and a series of high-frequency pressure sensors confirmed these computational results. High-speed cameras were incorporated with Schlieren photography methods to image and analyze the produced shock fronts. The developed apparatus was validated through rupture tests on actual human TMs.
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Major Qualifying Project
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