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A Virtual 3D Model of a Human Temporal Bone for Windows, Linux and Macintosh

Some list members may be interested in a virtual model for teaching the
anatomy of the human temporal bone, now available for download from the
following web address:


The EPL 3-dimensional (3-D) virtual model of a human temporal bone is a
powerful teaching tool for learning the complex anatomy of the human
temporal bone and for relating the 2-D morphology from a histological
section to the 3-D anatomy. The model was created from archival
histological sections from a 14-year old male. The specimen was formalin
fixed, decalcified, embedded in celloidin, serially sectioned in the
axial plane at 20 microns, stained with hematoxylin and eosin, and
mounted on slides. Low-power views of every fifth section through the
temporal bone were digitized and imported into Amira v3.1 (Mercury
Computer Systems/TGS, San Diego, CA). The sections were aligned and
segmented into anatomical "structures of interest".

The 3-D model is a surface rendering of these structures of interest,
which currently includes (among others) the bone and air spaces of the
temporal bone; the perilymphatic and endolymphatic spaces including
cochlear aqueduct and endolymphatic duct and sac; the sensory epithelia
of the cochlear and vestibular labyrinths; the ossicles and tympanic
membrane; the middle-ear muscles; the carotid artery; and the auditory,
vestibular and facial nerves. For each of these structures, the surface
transparency can be individually controlled, thereby revealing the 3-D
relations between surface landmarks and underlying structure. New
structures of interest can be added within the Amira software.

The 3-D surface model can also be "sliced open" at any section, and the
appropriate raw histologic image superimposed on the cleavage plane.
Leafing through the section stack in this way provides a powerful view
of the relation between microscopic images and 3-D anatomy. The image
stack can also be re-sectioned in any arbitrary plane.

The EPL 3-D viewer software has been tested on Windows XP, Windows 2000,
Red Hat Linux 9 and Mac OSX (10.3).  The model was made under the
supervision of Drs. M. Charles Liberman and Saumil Merchant by Haobing
Wang and Clarinda Northrop.  Model development was supported by a core
grant from the NIDCD (P30 DC05209).

Tony Miller
Eaton-Peabody Laboratory, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
243 Charles St, Boston, MA 02114
ajmiller@xxxxxxx | (617) 510-3629 | http://tonymiller.info