The human middle ear includes the tympanic membrane and the ossicular chain. The finite element method is capable of representing the complex geometry and the material orthotropy of the tympanic membrane. On the contrary, the ossicles can be considered as rigid bodies and a multi-body approach can be adopted. In the present study a multi-body model of the ossicular chain and other structures (joints, ligaments and muscle tendons) of the middle ear was developed and combined with a finite element model of the tympanic membrane through a feedback control strategy. An optimization procedure was used to calibrate unspecified or uncertain parameters with the aim of reproducing ascertained experimental literature data. The sensitivity of the calibrated models to both tympanic membrane and ossicular chain parameters was investigated. Material, geometrical and inertial parameters were considered, in particular those whose values were most widespread in the literature.

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