• ear;
  • cross-sectional anatomy;
  • computer-assisted image processing;
  • three-dimensional imaging;
  • anatomic models


The structure of the ear, which intervenes between gross anatomy and histology in size, can be best understood by means of three-dimensional (3D) surface models on a computer. Furthermore, surface models are the source of interactive simulation for clinical trials, such as tympanoplasty. The objective of this research was to elaborate the surface models of detailed ear structures, which contribute to learning anatomy or the practice of otology. We produced sectioned images of a cadaver head (pixel size, 0.1 mm; 48-bit color). In the sectioned images, the external, middle, and internal ear structures and other related components were delineated on Photoshop to acquire segmented images at 0.5-mm intervals. Segmented images of each structure were stacked, and the surface was reconstructed to generate a 3D-surface model on commercial software. Thirty surface models showed fine ear topographic anatomy (e.g., semicircular ducts), as expected. Herein, we present the corresponding sectioned images, segmented images, and surface models of ear structures that will be released together. It is hoped that these image data will stimulate the development of medical simulations. The efficient technique of segmentation and surface reconstruction enables the manufacture of surface models from other serial images (e.g., CTs and MRIs). Anat Rec, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.