• ear;
  • anatomy;
  • cross-sectional anatomy;
  • three-dimensional imaging;
  • hearing;
  • postural equilibrium;
  • pharyngeal arch;
  • visible human projects


In our previous research, we created state-of-the-art sectioned images, color-coded images, and surface models of the human ear. Our ear data would be more beneficial and informative if they were more easily accessible. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to distribute the browsing software and the PDF file in which ear images are to be readily obtainable and freely explored. Another goal was to inform other researchers of our methods for establishing the browsing software and the PDF file. To achieve this, sectioned images and color-coded images of ear were prepared (voxel size 0.1 mm). In the color-coded images, structures related to hearing, equilibrium, and structures originated from the first and second pharyngeal arches were segmented supplementarily. The sectioned and color-coded images of right ear were added to the browsing software, which displayed the images serially along with structure names. The surface models were reconstructed to be combined into the PDF file where they could be freely manipulated. Using the browsing software and PDF file, sectional and three-dimensional shapes of ear structures could be comprehended in detail. Furthermore, using the PDF file, clinical knowledge could be identified through virtual otoscopy. Therefore, the presented educational tools will be helpful to medical students and otologists by improving their knowledge of ear anatomy. The browsing software and PDF file can be downloaded without charge and registration at our homepage ( Anat Rec, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.