Brain Structure and Function

, Volume 212, Issue 2, pp 223–230 | Cite as

A detailed 3D model of the guinea pig cochlea

  • Bo Liu
  • Xiu L. GaoEmail author
  • Hong X. Yin
  • Shu Q. Luo
  • Jing Lu
Original Article


Several partial models of cochlear subparts are available. However, a complete 3D model of an intact cochlea based on actual histological sections has not been reported. Hence, the aim of this study was to develop a novel 3D model of the guinea pig cochlea and conduct post-processes on this reconstructed model. We used a combination of histochemical processing and the method of acquiring section data from the visible human project (VHP) to obtain a set of ideal raw images of cochlear sections. After semi-automatic registration and accurate manual segmentation with professional image processing software, one set of aligned data and six sets of segmented data were generated. Finally, the segmented structures were reconstructed by 3D Slicer (a professional imaging process and analysis tool). Further, post-processes including 3D visualization and a virtual endoscope were completed to improve visualization and simulate the course of the cochlear implant through the scala tympani. The 3D cochlea model contains the main six structures: (1) the inner wall, (2) modiolus and spiral lamina, (3) cochlea nerve and spiral ganglion, (4) spiral ligament and inferior wall of cochlear duct, (5) Reissner’s membrane and (6) tectorial membrane. Based on the results, we concluded that ideal raw images of cochlear sections can be acquired by combining the processes of conventional histochemistry and photographing while slicing. After several vital image processing and analysis steps, this could further generate a vivid 3D model of the intact cochlea complete with internal details. This novel 3D model has great potential in teaching, basic medical research and in several clinical applications.


Cochlea 3D modeling Registration Segmentation Reconstruction Visualization Virtual endoscope 



We thank Guang-wei Du for providing the professional registration software, Chen Wang’s assistance in visualization, and Mary-Magdalene Ugo Nzekwu for her valuable work on correcting the English. We are also grateful for the financial support from Beijing Natural Funds.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bo Liu
    • 1
  • Xiu L. Gao
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hong X. Yin
    • 2
  • Shu Q. Luo
    • 2
  • Jing Lu
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of AnatomyCapital Medical UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.School of Biomedical EngineeringCapital Medical UniversityBeijingChina
  3. 3.Department of Cell BiologyCapital Medical UniversityBeijingChina

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