Steady streaming in a two-dimensional box model of a passive cochlea

Elisabeth, Edom; Obrist, Dominik; Leonhard, Kleiser (2014). Steady streaming in a two-dimensional box model of a passive cochlea. Journal of fluid mechanics, 753, pp. 254-278. Cambridge University Press 10.1017/jfm.2014.360

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Acoustic stimulation of the cochlea leads to a travelling wave in the cochlear fluids and on the basilar membrane (BM). It has long been suspected that this travelling wave leads to a steady streaming flow in the cochlea. Theoretical investigations suggested that the steady streaming might be of physiological relevance. Here, we present a quantitative study of the steady streaming in a computational model of a passive cochlea. The structure of the streaming flow is illustrated and the sources of streaming are closely investigated. We describe a source of streaming which has not been considered in the cochlea by previous authors. This source is also related to a steady axial displacement of the BM which leads to a local stretching of this compliant structure. We present theoretical predictions for the streaming intensity which account for these new phenomena. It is shown that these predictions compare well with our numerical results and that there may be steady streaming velocities of the order of millimetres per second. Our results indicate that steady streaming should be more relevant to low-frequency hearing because the strength of the streaming flow rapidly decreases for higher frequencies.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research > ARTORG Center - Cardiovascular Engineering (CVE)

UniBE Contributor:

Obrist, Dominik


500 Science > 530 Physics
500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
600 Technology > 620 Engineering




Cambridge University Press




Dominik Obrist

Date Deposited:

09 Oct 2014 11:22

Last Modified:

23 Oct 2019 03:50

Publisher DOI:





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