JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN BAVOSI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Prosthetic stapes. Illustration of a prosthetic (artificial) stapes implanted in the middle ear. In a normal ear the tiny stapes bone transfers mechanical vibrations from the eardrum (centre left) to the fluid-filled inner ear (convoluted structure at right), where sensory nerve cells detect the vibrations as sound. In some people, however, overgrowth of bone in the middle ear immobilises the stapes, causing deafness. This condition, called otosclerosis, is cured by surgically replacing the stapes with an artificial implant. This artwork also shows a vent implanted in the eardrum, allowing air to flow between the ear canal and eustachian tube (lower right).
Model release not required. Property release not required.